Space Products: What it Takes

Welcome to the next installment of DELving into RF! Today we’re shaking it up, cooling it down, spinning it really fast, heating it up, and putting it in a vacuum. That’s right, we’re talking about what it means to be space qualified! Many high caliber or government agency related space projects require components to go through a very specific set of testing before they are allowed on the project. These tests are often divided into 2 groups: RF & electrical, and mechanical & environmental.


RF & Mechanical:

  • Full RF Testing
  • RF Modelling
  • RF Leakage
  • Peak Power
  • Life Testing – Operating Life Test
  • Insertion Loss Monitoring
  • Voltage Conditioning
  • Burn-In


Mechanical and Environmental:

  • Vibration Testing
  • Outgassing
  • Contact Retention
  • Humidity
  • Thermal Cycling
  • Cryogenic Testing
  • X-ray Imaging
  • Connector Repeatability
  • Rapid Change in Temperature
  • Tolerancing
  • TVAC Screening
  • Random Shock and Vibration


As components see new environments, including temperature changes, accelerations, vibrations, and different types of shocks, their materials and connection points are subject to damage. Temperature can change material properties, which can lead to frozen joints or melting plastics. Vibrations or sudden mechanical shocks can cause microscopic or sizable cracks in materials, while sudden voltage spikes can damage electrical circuits. Components in a space atmosphere are subject to a variety of hardships, so it is important to conduct this intricate testing prior to launch. At XMA, we perform a plethora of tests in house, and have testing partners who help us out with the rest. When we mark something as space qualified, it is one of our best components.