Introduction to Hardening

What is at stake ?

Hardening is a mandatory step to ensure that electronic devices can work in a harsh radiative and/or electromagnetic environment.

Hardening is therefore requested for :

  • space systems (satellites, launchers,…) facing the radiative environment induced by the Sun and the space particles,
  • civil nuclear systems (especially for the electronic devices implemented in “hot” environment, for instance next to the reactor heart or to nuclear fuel rods),
  • weapon systems or infrastructures designed to survive after a nuclear aggression,
  • aircraft and vehicles including a large proportion of electronic equipments (atmospheric neutrons effects).

The typical environments to be addressed, either natural or artificial, are summarized in the following diagrams :

Natural environments



Artificial environments


SGEMP : System Generated ElectroMagnetic Pulse
(EM ienvironment induced by the interaction of X-rays with the system matter)

IEMN : Nuclear ElectroMagnetic Pulse


Hardening methodology

Hardening requirements need to be taken into account as soon as possible in the design of a piece of equipment or of a complete system in order to minimize the impact on development costs and schedule.

The NUCLETUDES’ know-how makes possible to adapt these methods to various industrial contexts.

It thus leads to :

As a complement to these engineering activities, NUCLETUDES also owns dedicated test facilities.

At last, NUCLETUDES has developed several specific spin-off technologies for sensors and dosimeters.