High-Speed High-Resolution ADCs & DACs for Space Applications

This line of research addresses the design of analog and mixed-signal circuits and systems for critical aerospace applications, with emphasis on embedded aerospace applications (satellites, rovers) in CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor) technology. These circuits are characterized by being in an environment with high doses of radiation (TID, SE) and need for an autonomous operation without maintenance.

In order to increase the performance and increase the lifespan of these systems, it is necessary to develop and implement Radiation-Hard (Rad-Hard) techniques. In addition and, especially in an application context with little or no possibility of human intervention, these systems should include additional circuitry that capable of automatically measuring and correcting (self-calibration) errors by itself during the entire life of the Instrument (due to the cumulative effect of radiation and aging, as well as change of PVT operating conditions: process, voltage and temperature).

The advantages of research and development of self-calibration techniques are of great importance in critical applications operating under extreme conditions, since the performance of the circuits subjected to stress tend to degrade over time, requiring periodic re-calibrations to preserve the specified operating level.

Another aspect to emphasize is the reliability and re-use of this type of circuits, once developed and qualified, for future missions, which entails a great savings in terms of effort and associated costs.

Photograph of ASIC CMOS 0.35µm Front-End for solar irradiation sensors on the surface of Mars. The circuit has been designed with the rad-hard library (hardened against radiations) developed at the Microelectronics Institute of Seville (IMSE-CSIC-US).
Test assembly for evaluation of electrical behavior at extreme temperatures. Front microphotograph of the CMOS prototype of the 16bitADC converter.


Gildas Léger >

Antonio J. Ginés Arteaga >


  • Auto-Calibration
  • Hardness for Radiation Applications
  • Embedded Critical Aerospace Applications (Satellites, Rovers, etc.)
  • Sensors
  • Temperature Sensors
  • Solar Irradiance Sensors
  • Mixed Signal ASICs-CMOS for Space

Research Highlights

A.J. Ginés, E.J. Peralías and A. Rueda, "Black-Box Calibration for ADCs With Hard Nonlinear Errors Using a Novel INL-Based Additive Code: A Pipeline ADC Case Study", IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers, vol. 64, no. 7, pp. 1718-1729, 2017  »  doi

J. Núñez, A.J. Ginés, E.J. Peralías and A. Rueda, "Design methodology for low-jitter differential clock recovery circuits in high performance ADCs", Analog Integrated Circuits and Signal Processing, vol. 89, no. 33, pp. 593-609, 2016  »  doi

A.J. Ginés, E. Peralías and A. Rueda, "Background Digital Calibration of Comparator Offsets in Pipeline ADCs" IEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems, vol. 23, no. 7, pp. 1345-1349, 2015  »  doi

D. Malagon-Perianez, J.M. de la Rosa, R. del Rio and G. Leger, "Single Event Transients trigger instability in Sigma-Delta Modulators", Conference on Design of Circuits and Integrated Systems (DCIS), Madrid, 2014

J. Ramos-Martos, A. Arias-Drake, A. Ragel-Morales, J. Ceballos-Cáceres, J.M. Mora-Gutiérrez, B. Piñero-García, M. Muñoz-Díaz, M.A. Lagos-Florido, S. Espejo-Meana, I. Arruego-Rodríguez, J. Martínez-Oter and M.T. Álvarez, "OWLs: A Mixed-Signal ASIC for Optical Wire-Less Links in Space Instruments", Fourth International Workshop on Analog and Mixed-Signal Integrated Circuits for Space Applications, AMICSA, ESA/ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, 2012

Key Research Projects & Contracts

ASIC-SIS: ASIC for compacts solar irradiation sensor (ESP2016-80320-C2-2-R)
PI: Diego Vázquez García de la Vega
Funding Body: Min. de Economía, Industria y Competitividad
Dec 2016 - Dec 2018

16BitADC (ESA ITT AO/1-7154 /12/NL/RA)
PI: Juan Ramos (up to 08/2015) / Joaquín Ceballos / Antonio Ginés (from 09/2015)
Funding Body: ESA (European Space Agency)
Sep 2013 - Dec 2015

DANTE: Adapting Mixed-signal and RF ICs Design and Test to Process and Evironment Variability (TEC2011-28302)
PI: Adoración Rueda Rueda
Funding Body: Min. de Ciencia e Innovación
Jan 2012 - Dec 2015

Radiation Tolerant Analogue/Mixed-Signal Technology Survey and Test Vehicle Design (ESTEC Contract No. 400010162110/NL/AF)
PI: José Luis Huertas / Gildas Léger
Funding Body: ESA (European Space Agency) - Through subcontract with ARQUIMEA
Sep 2010 - Sep 2012

All Research Areas & Lines