Engineering Test Sample, Microelectronic Hybrid


Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

This artifact is an engineering test sample of a microelectronic hybrid, a specialized device combining electrical components and circuits arranged in layers on top of an alumina wafer. These hybrids were essential components on some types of science and communications satellites in the 1980s and 1990s.

The technique of layering helped reduce the weight and size of spacecraft electronics. The number of circuit layers in a device ranged from three to eight, depending on its function. The buried conducting layers provided additional pathways for connecting the electrical devices on the hybrid's top layer. A completed hybrid was 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.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Credit Line

Gift of Lockheed Martin


Overall: Alumina, glass, copper, epoxy


Overall: 0.22 x 1.27 x 2.54cm (1/16in. x 1/2in. x 1in.)

Country of Origin

United States of America



Inventory Number


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