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Subject: Surface finish for space

Date: 05/01/00 at 10:32 PM
Posted by: Brendon Parise
E-mail: edatech@adelaide.on.net
Message Posted:

We are currently designing a series of seven pcb's for a sattelite communications payload
to be launched early next year. We have not designed boards for space use before and
would like to know if anyone has experience in this area.In particular we would like to know
which materials are or are not recommended for space use. Our current multilayer fab house
uses the ALPHA TEK organic surface finish on their boards and this has proven very succesful
for our standard high density SMT designs. It provides an extremely flat and solderable surface
and is very good for BGA use. Previously we had all boards finished in emulsion gold for
flatness and solderability. We would like to know if either of these is suitable for space. My
feeling is that the organic finish may be a problem due to outgassing. What recommendations
does anybody have? Also, what about soldermask and silkscreen for boards in space. Should these
be left off altogether orshould the materials be specified and if so which ones.
Any advice would be appreciated.

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