This silk screen block was used to print a pattern of electric circuits and components on an alumina wafer. A combination of technicians and machines then filled in actual circuits and components to create a specialized electronic device known as a microelectronic hybrid. These hybrids were essential components on some types of science and communications satellites in the 1980s and 1990s. The electric circuit shown on this silk screen was used in a device developed for the Milstar series of communications satellites.
One important purpose of microelectronic hybrids was to minimize the weight and size of spacecraft electronics. To achieve this, a hybrid stacked a series of circuit layers one on top of the other, creating an ingenious puzzle in which many chips and devices were integrated through as many as several thousand connections.
This design approach represented the state of the art in miniaturization for microelectronic hybrids as of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Lockheed Martin donated this artifact to the Museum in 1998.
Gift of Lockheed Martin