After source selection and screening is complete, PEMs qualification should take place to yield an acceptable level of confidence in the selected product. If a space/military system requires optimum reliability and if PEMs are part of the implement/mission plan, then PEM qualification is mandatory.
PEMs qualification objectives must be:
- To test to verify compliance with the performance requirements of the application environment over the intended mission lifetime.
- To test using practices and facilities with demonstrated capabilities sufficient to handle and test the technologies involved.4
APL utilizes a five-step testing regime:
- Radiation hardness assurance
- Temperature cycling
- Steady-state temperature-humidity bias life test
- High-temperature operating life7