image:Pre-experiment sample (left) and  post-experiment sample (right)

Oct 12, 2023

Products & Solutions / Press Release

Panasonic Industry Demonstrates Durability of Electronic Materials in Exposure Experiments in Harsh Space Environment

Panasonic Industry's electronic materials will contribute to future technological innovations in the fields of aerospace, information, communication and more.

Osaka, Japan – Panasonic Industry Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Kadoma-shi, Osaka; Representative Director, President, CEO: Shinji Sakamoto) announced today that it took part in the Space Delivery Project -RETURN to EARTH-[1], promoted by Space BD Inc., and conducted space exposure experiments[2] of its electronic materials on the Exposed Facility located outside the Japanese Experiment Module Kibo on board the International Space Station (ISS)[3]. The experiment, which began in March 2023, evaluated the performance of materials that were in space for over three months and were exposed to the space environment for two months. The evaluation found no major changes in the materials' performance in three important areas (see the primary evaluation below for detailed information), confirming that the materials are robust enough to withstand the unrelenting and unique environment of space.

Space is an extremely harsh environment where microgravity, a powerful vacuum, cosmic radiation, and wide-ranging temperature changes occur simultaneously; conditions that are difficult to replicate on Earth. The experiments were conducted to meet this challenge, aiming to expose electronic materials developed by Panasonic Industry to space conditions and assess their performance under adverse conditions.

The evaluation results have confirmed the high quality and durability of these electronic materials. The company will continue to analyze the material characteristics to evaluate their performance in more detail.

Leveraging its long-standing technological development capabilities and the knowledge gained from the space exposure experiments, Panasonic Industry will continue to advance its electronic material technology to achieve the lowest transmission loss in the industry.

This research will accelerate technological innovations in high-speed communication networks for ground-level communications and support the development of network equipment for non-ground-level communications -- such as space exploration and High-Altitude Platform Station (HAPS[4]), which require accommodation for harsh environmental conditions. These are key elements in realizing the sixth-generation mobile communication system (6G). Guided by these goals for future industrial activities, the company will continue to contribute to building a better future and a more prosperous society.

Pre-experiment sample (left) and
post-experiment sample (right)

Individual samples subjected to
space exposure experiments

[Evaluation details and future scheduled events]

■ Primary evaluation details

(1) Change in the appearance and color tone
All samples show no change.
Example: Photo of the MEGTRON6 R-5775(K)
No change in the color tone

image:Photo of the MEGTRON6 R-5775(K)

Example: The surface of MEGTRON6 R-5775(K) observed with an electron microscope (magnification 3,000x)
The surface remains unchanged before and after the experiments, showing no cracks, voids, or other defects.

Before the experiments

After the experiments

(2) Electrical characteristics: Dielectric constant (Dk), Dissipation factor (Df)
All samples show no changes.
Example: Electrical characteristics of MEGTRON6 R-5775(K)
Respective measurement average values of two pre-experiment samples and two post-experiment samples that were taken using a balanced circular disc resonator.

image:Change in the Dielectric constant (Dk)
image:Change in the Dissipation factor (Df)

(3) Chemical analysis: Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR)
All samples show no changes.
Example: FT-IR spectrum from MEGTRON6 R-5775(K) (attenuated total reflection (ATR) method)
Spectrum from the pre-experiment sample matches that from the post-experiment sample.

image:Change in the FT-IR spectrum

■ Secondary evaluation details: these are to be completed over the next few months

(4) Heat analysis: Glass transition temperature, thermal expansion coefficient, decomposition temperature
(5) Cross-section observation: Resin-glass cloth adhesion at the interface, analysis of degradation of the glass cloth

■ History and future schedule of space exposure experiments (Japanese time):

March 15, 2023: Completion of launch to the ISS (SpaceX CRS-27 mission)
March 21, 2023: The experimental samples were installed on the Exposed Experiment Facility of the ISS and began being exposed to the space environment. After the experiments concluded, the samples were retrieved.
June 30, 2023: A resupply ship carrying the samples returned to Earth (SpaceX CRS-28 mission). Institutions involved in the project, such as NASA and JAXA, inspected the samples.
August 25, 2023: The experiment samples were delivered to Panasonic Industry for evaluation of changes in the material characteristics of the samples after exposure to the space environment.
End of FY2023: A secondary evaluation of other material characteristics is scheduled.

■ Location where Panasonic Industry's experimental samples are installed in the space exposure experiments

image:Location where Panasonic Industry's experimental samples are installed in the space exposure experiments

■ Panasonic Industry’s products subject to space exposure experiments

MEGTRON series: Low transmission loss multi-layer circuit board materials

XPEDION series: High frequency circuit board materials

HIPER V: Highly heat-resistant low CTE multi-layer circuit board materials

FELIOS series: Flexible circuit board materials

LEXCM GX series: Semiconductor package substrate materials

LEXCM DF series: Underfill for board level reinforcement

[Reference information]

■ Exhibition

CEATEC (Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies) 2023
Host: Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA)
Period: Tuesday, October 17 to Friday, October 20, 2023
Location: Makuhari Messe (Nakase 2-1, Mihama-ku, Chiba-shi, Chiba Prefecture) (Japanese)

■ Academic Meeting

Space Science and Technology Association 67th Session
Host: The Japan Society for Aeronautical and Space Sciences
Period: Tuesday, October 17 to Friday, October 20, 2023
Location: Toyama International Conference Center, ANA Crowne Plaza Toyama Hotel

Number: 3K01 (In the organized session Applying Commercial Technologies to Space Projects)
Title: Space Exposure Experiment Project Aiming to Apply Board Materials and Mounting Reinforcement Materials to Space Activities
Presentation date: 9:30 to 9:50, October 19, 2023 (Japanese)

■ Related Information

■ Term Definitions

[1] Space Delivery Project
Project led by Space BD Inc. using the Exposed Experiment Bracket Attached on i-SEEP (ExBAS: co-developed with JAXA) mounted on the IVA-replaceable Small Exposed Experiment Platform (i-SEEP) of the Japanese Experiment Module Kibo on board the International Space Station (ISS). The project provides a variety of support for target sample selection, sample launch, and recovery of samples to Earth.

[2] Space exposure
Exposure to microgravity, cosmic radiation, a powerful vacuum, and other conditions unique to the environment of space. It is difficult to reproduce all of these conditions simultaneously on Earth.

[3] Exposed Facility located outside the Japanese Experiment Module Kibo on board the ISS
An experimental area exposed to space and located outside the Japanese Experiment Module Kibo on board the International Space Station, which is in orbit approximately 400 km above the Earth's surface. The facility enables scientific observations, Earth observations, communications, science and engineering experiments, scientific experiments, and more.

[4] HAPS
Abbreviation of High-Altitude Platform Station. General term for systems that provide communication services over a wide area by mounting communication base stations, such as those for LTE and 5G applications, on unmanned aircraft flying in the stratosphere about 20 km above the ground. Since HAPS is resistant to disasters and can provide communication services to 3D spatial areas including those in the sky, it is expected to help eliminate information gaps between different locations by covering a wide range of areas where communication networks are not yet in place, such as mountainous areas and remote islands.

■ Inquiries

Electronic Materials Business Division, Panasonic Industry Co., Ltd.

Electronic materials of Panasonic Industry Co., Ltd.

Panasonic Industry Co., Ltd. website

Space BD Inc. website

■ Media Contact

Public Relations Department, Panasonic Industry Co., Ltd.

About Panasonic Industry Co., Ltd.

Panasonic Industry Co., Ltd. was established on April 1, 2022 as an operating company in charge of the device business within the Panasonic Group in line with its shift to an operating company system. The mission of the company states that "We will open the way to a better future and continue to contribute to an affluent society through a variety of device technologies." On a global basis, the company has about 42,000 employees and achieved net sales of 1,149.9 billion yen for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2023. Against the backdrop of a labor shortage in manufacturing, the explosion of data with the rise of the information-based society, and greater demands for the environment and safety for the mobility society, the company will focus on areas where ongoing evolution is required and continue to provide customer value with distinctive features of unique material and process technologies such as capacitors, compact servomotors, EV relays, and electronic materials. Learn more about Panasonic Industry at

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Panasonic Industry Co., Ltd.

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