We just received back 3 pieces of equipment that may have been inadvertently put through a Gamma radiation sterilisation process. The equipment is a low-power embedded device consisting of a 16 bit microcontroller with peripheral FLASH memory and SRAM backed up by a lithium battery. The equipment appears completely dead.
What possible effects would Gamma radiation have on embedded devices? FLASH memory corruption? Circuit degradation? Component failure?
The equipment is three nephelometer instruments that we make, which use a quite expensive COTS logger as the brains. The instruments were sent back to us from overseas along with some sediment samples. Customs / quarantine decided that they wanted to sterilise the sediment samples, and I think they must have put the instruments through as well.