[ExI] bradbury nodes

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Wed Aug 17 20:44:10 UTC 2011

On Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 1:03 PM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
>>... On Behalf Of Kelly Anderson
> Subject: Re: [ExI] bradbury nodes
> 2011/8/16 spike <spike66 at att.net>:
> http://singularityhub.com/2011/08/15/computer-chip-sized-spacecraft-will-exp
> lore-space-in-swarms/
>>...Very cool. I had the understanding that cosmic rays were bad on silicon
> chips... Is that correct? If so, what do you think these babies are made of?
> -Kelly
> Silicon substrate is still our best technology for interplanetary space.
> Our silicon chips can be made to work in space, but there is the
> radiation-related phenomenon of SEUs, or Single Event Upsets.  These are
> usually caused by cosmic rays of such high energy, they cannot be
> effectively shielded.  They can cause eventual breakdowns of the substrate
> as well, but what I have in mind is some type of on-chip redundancy which
> would allow a SEU-impacted* chip to recover and restore corrupted data.

Since it would take tens or hundreds of thousands of years for
interstellar travel, and assuming there is as much troublesome
radiation between stars as near them, there would have to be a LOT of
redundancy to ensure/assure (are these twin words?) that something was
still working once it got to the solar system in question... It's an
interesting problem from a hardware, software and engineering
perspective. Perhaps there is some benefit to the thinking in
Long/Deep Time after all :-)

Of course, if we did send something to a nearby star, chances are we
would later send something faster, so this may be one case where there
is a good point to be made in waiting. As for use inside the solar
system, I'm all for this kind of cheap stuff. Especially for finding
new asteroids/comets, etc.


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list