Project Director

Loveless, Thomas Daniel

Department Examiner

Reising, Donald


Dept. of Electrical Engineering


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


An embedded system, or a system-on-chip (SOC), is a miniaturized computer that combines hardware and software to accomplish a certain purpose. Embedded systems are used in various applications from household appliances to the automobile industry. Additionally, SOCs are used in space environments where the surroundings consist of radiation and extreme temperatures. In these harsh conditions, embedded systems must operate properly through the effects of radiation such as total ionizing dose (TID). Because embedded systems are filled with various components and modules, and since the internal signals of the system are often inaccessible, methods to locate which specific parts of the system are affected due to radiation are archaic and inefficient. The most common method of analyzing TID in SOC consists of a pass-fail strategy where the effects of TID are only known after the system is unable to communicate with the user. This thesis describes a novel method to identify the specific modules being affected by TID radiation through in situ power and energy measurements of the system and the performance of the components. The experimental methodology is demonstrated through measurement of radiation effects in the MSP430FR6989 microcontroller from Texas Instruments’ and the EnergyTrace program that is installed in the system.


I would like to first and foremost thank God for this wonderful opportunity and support. My Christian faith granted me much mental aid, motivation, and peace in this thesis writing process and I would not be here without it. Next, I would like to thank my thesis advisor, Dr. Loveless, for accepting an unproven student like myself into his lab and introducing me into the unique world of radiation effects in microelectronics. His creativity, patience, and leadership were vital in this thesis and my general undergraduate career in research and studies. I would also like to thank Dr. Reising for being part of my thesis committee and for the insightful perspective he brings. Finally, I would like to express my sincere gratitude towards my talented team: Jaekeon Kim, who was with me since the start of this project and aided me through the end; Stephen Lawrence for his extreme patience and contributing significantly to this project even when he was not obliged to; Adam Peterson, who was readily available to help me whenever I had a question; and Jake Carpenter, for helping in a manner that typically goes unnoticed yet leaves a meaningful impact.


B. S.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Science.




Embedded computer systems; Electrical engineering--Materials--Effect of radiation on; Failure analysis (Engineering)


Embedded systems; radiation effects; total ionizing dose; microcontroller; analog-to-digital converter; MSP430FR6989


VLSI and Circuits, Embedded and Hardware Systems

Document Type



ix, 57 leaves