The ISS and the prior station Mir provided the proving ground for future human long-duration space activity. A recent European Space Agency study recommended “Measurement campaigns on the ISS form the ideal tool for experimental validation of radiation environment models, of transport code algorithms and reaction cross sections”. Indeed, prior measurements on Shuttle have provided vital information impacting both transport code and environmental model development. Recent studies using the ISS 7A configuration with TLD area monitors demonstrated that computational dosimetry requires environmental models with accurate anisotropic and dynamic behavior, detailed information on rack loading, and an accurate 6 degree-of-freedom description of the ISS trajectory. The ISS model is now configured for 11A and uses an anisotropic and dynamic geomagnetic transmission and trapped proton models. The ISS 11A is instrumented with both passive and active dosimetric devices. Time resolved measurements have the advantage of isolating trapped proton and galactic cosmic ray components as was essential to transport code validation in Shuttle data analysis. ISS 11A model validation will begin with passive dosimetry as was used with ISS 7A. Directional dependent active measurements will play an important role in the validation of environmental model anisotropies.
Research Containing: Dosimeter
Tests of shielding effectiveness of Kevlar and Nextel onboard the International Space Station and the Foton-M3 capsule
Radiation assessment and protection in space is the first step in planning future missions to the Moon and Mars, where mission and number of space travelers will increase and the protection of the geomagnetic shielding against the cosmic radiation will be absent. In this framework, the shielding effectiveness of two flexible materials, Kevlar and Nextel, were tested, which are largely used in the construction of spacecrafts. Accelerator-based tests clearly demonstrated that Kevlar is an excellent shield for heavy ions, close to polyethylene, whereas Nextel shows poor shielding characteristics. Measurements on flight performed onboard of the International Space Station and of the Foton-M3 capsule have been carried out with special attention to the neutron component; shielded and unshielded detectors (thermoluminescence dosemeters, bubble detectors) were exposed to a real radiation environment to test the shielding properties of the materials under study. The results indicate no significant effects of shielding, suggesting that thin shields in low-Earth Orbit have little effect on absorbed dose.
Benchmark studies of the effectiveness of structural and internal materials as radiation shielding for the international space station
Accelerator-based measurements and model calculations have been used to study the heavy-ion radiation transport properties of materials in use on the International Space Station (ISS). Samples of the ISS aluminum outer hull were augmented with various configurations of internal wall material and polyethylene. The materials were bombarded with high-energy iron ions characteristic of a significant part of the galactic cosmic-ray (GCR) heavy-ion spectrum. Transmitted primary ions and charged fragments produced in nuclear collisions in the materials were measured near the beam axis, and a model was used to extrapolate from the data to lower beam energies and to a lighter ion. For the materials and ions studied, at incident particle energies from 1037 MeV/nucleon down to at least 600 MeV/nucleon, nuclear fragmentation reduces the average dose and dose equivalent per incident ion. At energies below 400 MeV/nucleon, the calculation predicts that as material is added, increased ionization energy loss produces increases in some dosimetric quantities. These limited results suggest that the addition of modest amounts of polyethylene or similar material to the interior of the ISS will reduce the dose to ISS crews from space radiation; however, the radiation transport properties of ISS materials should be evaluated with a realistic space radiation field.
This paper presents results from dosimetric measurements made aboard the Mir space station and the International Space Station (ISS) using the Pille portable thermoluminescent dosemeter (TLD) system. This paper includes the dosimetry mapping and automatic readout (trapped and untrapped components) results from Mir and ISS. The mean dose rate in 2001–2003 was 7 μGy h−1. Using the hourly measuring period in automatic mode, doses from both galactic (independent of South Atlantic Anomaly—SAA) and SAA components were determined during Euromir'95 experiment. The mean total dose rate was 12.5 μGy h−1, while the SAA contribution was 6.2 μGy h−1. A similar measurement was performed on ISS in 2001 and in 2003. Both the manual and automatic measurements show a significant decrease in dose rate in 2001 in comparison to 1995–1997 due to the change in solar activity. For determination of the high linear energy transfer contribution from the radiation field during the ISS mapping experiment, three CR-39 plastic nuclear track detectors (PNTDs) were co-located with each TL detector. Analysis of the combined TLD and PNTD measurements showed a typical mean TLD efficiency of 84%, a dose contribution <10 keV μm−1 of 17%, and an average quality factor of 1.95.
Radiation in low Earth orbit (LEO) is mainly from Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR), solar energetic particles and particles in South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA). These particles’ radiation impact to astronauts depends strongly on the particles’ linear energy transfer (LET) and is dominated by high LET radiation. It is important to investigate the LET spectrum for the radiation field and the influence of radiation on astronauts. At present, the best active dosimeters used for all LET are the tissue equivalent proportional counter (TEPC) and silicon detectors; the best passive dosimeters are thermoluminescence dosimeters (TLDs) or optically stimulated luminescence dosimeters (OSLDs) for low LET and CR-39 plastic nuclear track detectors (PNTDs) for high LET. TEPC, CR-39 PNTDs, TLDs and OSLDs were used to investigate the radiation for space mission Expedition 12 (ISS-11S) in LEO. LET spectra and radiation quantities (fluence, absorbed dose, dose equivalent and quality factor) were measured for the mission with these different dosimeters. This paper introduces the operation principles for these dosimeters, describes the method to combine the results measured by CR-39 PNTDs and TLDs/OSLDs, presents the experimental LET spectra and the radiation quantities.
The radiation impact to astronauts depends strongly on the particles’ linear energy transfer (LET) and is dominated by high LET radiation. It is important to investigate the LET spectrum for the radiation field in low Earth orbit (LEO) and the influence of radiation on astronauts. The best active dosimeter used for all LET is the tissue equivalent proportional counter (TEPC); the best passive dosimeter used for high LET is CR-39 plastic nuclear track dosimeters (PNTDs). TEPC and CR-39 PNTDs were used to investigate the radiation in LEO. LET spectra and radiation quantities were obtained for STS-112 and STS-114 missions with TEPC and CR-39 PNTDs. This paper introduces the operation principles for the two types of dosimeters, presents radiation results measured and compares the results obtained with different dosimeters.
Bubble-detector measurements in the Russian segment of the International Space Station during 2009–12
Measurements using bubble detectors have been performed in order to characterise the neutron dose and energy spectrum in the Russian segment of the International Space Station (ISS). Experiments using bubble dosemeters and a bubble-detector spectrometer, a set of six detectors with different energy thresholds that is used to determine the neutron spectrum, were performed during the ISS-22 (2009) to ISS-33 (2012) missions. The spectrometric measurements are in good agreement with earlier data, exhibiting expected features of the neutron energy spectrum in space. Experiments using a hydrogenous radiation shield show that the neutron dose can be reduced by shielding, with a reduction similar to that determined in earlier measurements using bubble detectors. The bubble-detector data are compared with measurements performed on the ISS using other instruments and are correlated with potential influencing factors such as the ISS altitude and the solar activity. Surprisingly, these influences do not seem to have a strong effect on the neutron dose or energy spectrum inside the ISS.
Analysis of Sileye-3/Alteino data with a neural network technique: Particle discrimination and energy reconstruction
In this work, we present the data analysis of the Sileye-3/Alteino experiment with neural network technique. Sileye-3/Alteino is composed of two devices: the cosmic ray-advanced silicon telescope (an 8 plane, 32 strip silicon detector) and an electroencephalograph. It was placed on board the ISS on April the 27th 2002 to investigate on the Light Flash phenomenon and the radiation environment in space. We show the possibility of using neural networks as an useful tool for real-time data analysis. A feed-forward neural network (Multi-Layer Perceptron – MLP) has been implemented and trained (with Monte Carlo data) to perform on line particle identification for ions with Atomic Number (Z) ⩽8 and incident kinetic energy reconstruction for ions Z > 2. The result of the analysis of Sileye-3/Alteino real data with the neural network and the improvements over classical analysis techniques are discussed.
Study of radiation conditions onboard the International space station by means of the Liulin-5 dosimeter
For estimating radiation risk in space flights it is necessary to determine radiation dose obtained by critical organs of a human body. For this purpose the experiments with human body models are carried out onboard spacecraft. These models represent phantoms equipped with passive and active radiation detectors which measure dose distributions at places of location of critical organs. The dosimetric Liulin-5 telescope is manufactured with using three silicon detectors for studying radiation conditions in the spherical tissue-equivalent phantom on the Russian segment of the International space station (ISS). The purpose of the experiment with Liulin-5 instrument is to study dynamics of the dose rate and particle flux in the phantom, as well as variations of radiation conditions on the ISS over long time intervals depending on a phase of the solar activity cycle, orbital parameters, and presence of solar energetic particles. The Liulin-5 dosimeter measures simultaneously the dose rate and fluxes of charged particles at three depths in the radial channel of the phantom, as well as the linear energy transfer. The paper presents the results of measurements of dose rate and particle fluxes caused by various radiation field components on the ISS during the period from June 2007 till December 2009.
The aim of the study was to investigate the contribution of secondary neutrons to the total dose inside the International Space Station (ISS). For this purpose solid-state nuclear track detector (SSNTD) stacks were used. Each stack consisted of three CR-39 sheets. The first and second sheets were separated by a Ti plate, and the second and third sheets sandwiched a Lexan polycarbonate foil. The neutron and proton responses of each sheet were studied through MC calculations and experimentally, utilising monoenergetic protons. Seven stacks were exposed in 2001 for 249 days at different locations of the Russian segment ‘Zvezda’. The total storage time before and after the exposure onboard was estimated to be seven months. Another eight stacks were exposed at the CERF high-energy neutron field for calibration purposes.The CR-39 detectors were evaluated in four steps: after 2, 6, 12 and 20 h etching in 6 N NaOH at 70°C (VB = 1.34 µm h−1). All the individual tracks were investigated and recorded using an image analyser. The stacks provided the averaged neutron ambient dose equivalent (H*) between 200 keV and 20 MeV, and the values varied from 39 to 73 μSv d−1, depending on the location. The Lexan detectors were used to detect the dose originating from high-charge and high-energy (HZE) particles. These results will be published elsewhere.