Radiation Dosimetry in Space: A Systematic Review
Reynolds RJ, et al. (2014). "Radiation Dosimetry in Space: A Systematic Review." Webmed Central Environmental Medicine 5 6
This article presents the results of a systematic literature review to locate peer-reviewed journal articles that offer equivalent or absorbed radiation dose measurements for locations in outer space. The review utilized three separate keyword searches, one using MEDLINE and 2 using Google Scholar. The queries returned a total of 3,779 potential source documents, 819 of which were screened for inclusion. The final article set contained 43 articles. The articles were all in English though they were contributed by authors from 10 different nations. The United States was the most frequent contributor followed by Germany. The articles provided data from every manned US space program except Project Mercury, as well as from 3 Soviet space stations. The article pool displayed recency in publication, with a majority of the articles published in 1990 or later. It is speculated that this is due to a preference for reporting results in technical reports and conference abstracts in the 1960s and 1970s. The shift from research conducted by contractors to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to partnerships with civilian scientists at universities may be responsible for the increased frequency of publication in peer-reviewed journals. The collection of articles provides more than 550 dose measurements for spacecraft and extra-vehicular activity in 42 combinations of inclination and altitude in low Earth orbit. The articles also provide 57 measurements for lunar missions. The most often sampled locations were those that had space stations, followed by measurements taken aboard the Gemini capsules and the Space Shuttle fleet. This review demonstrates that dosimetric data exist in sufficient abundance that they might be further synthesized into useful dose estimation models and tools. Such tools could be of great utility in mission planning and epidemiological studies of the effects of space radiation on human health.