Recently, large diameter, isolated n-heptane droplet experiments under microgravity conditions (aboard the International Space Station) exhibited “Cool Flame” burning behavior, resulting from a heat loss mechanism that extinguishes hot combustion and a transition into a sustained, low temperature second stage combustion. In atmospheric pressure air, a single combustion mode transition to “Cool Flame” burning is followed by diffusive extinction. But with increasing pressure, multiple cycles of hot initiation followed by transition to “Cool Flame” burning are observed. This paper reports experimental observations that characterize the transition time histories of this multi-cycle, multi-stage behavior. Transient sphero-symmetric droplet combustion modeling that considers multi-stage detailed kinetics, multi-component diffusion, and spectral radiation is applied to analyze the experimental observations. The simulations indicate that as parameters change the chemical time scales dictating low temperature degenerate chain branching, multiple hot/cool flame burning transitions are induced by increasing the cool flame burning heat generation rate compared to the diffusive loss rate. The balance of these terms in the negative temperature coefficient kinetic regime defines whether reactions accelerate into re-ignition of a hot flame event, burn quasi-steadily in the cool flame mode, or diffusively extinguish. The rate of reactions controlling ketohydroperoxide formation and destruction are shown to be key re-ignition of hot combustion from the cool flame mode. Predictions are found to be in good agreement with the experimental measurements. Modeling is further applied to determine how these observations are dependent on initial experimental conditions, including pressure, and diluent species.
Research Containing: Radiation
Understanding space environment induced degradation of spacecraft materials is essential when designing durable and stable spacecraft components. As a result of space radiation, debris impacts, atomic oxygen interaction, and thermal cycling, the outer surfaces of space materials degrade when exposed to low Earth orbit (LEO). The objective of this study was to measure the embrittlement of 37 thin film polymers after LEO space exposure. The polymers were flown aboard the International Space Station and exposed to the LEO space environment as part of the Materials International Space Station Experiment 5 (MISSE 5). The samples were flown in a nadir-facing position for 13 months and were exposed to thermal cycling along with low doses of atomic oxygen, direct solar radiation and omni-directional charged particle radiation. The samples were analyzed for space-induced embrittlement using a bend-test procedure in which the strain necessary to induce surface cracking was determined. Bend-testing was conducted using successively smaller mandrels to apply a surface strain to samples placed on a semi-suspended pliable platform. A pristine sample was also tested for each flight sample. Eighteen of the 37 flight samples experienced some degree of surface cracking during bend-testing, while none of the pristine samples experienced any degree of cracking. The results indicate that 49% of the MISSE 5 thin film polymers became embrittled in the space environment even though they were exposed to low doses (~2.75 krad (Si) dose through 127 μm Kapton) of ionizing radiation.
Collagen and silk materials, in neat forms and as silica composites, were flown for 18 months on the International Space Station [Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE)-6] to assess the impact of space radiation on structure and function. As natural biomaterials, the impact of the space environment on films of these proteins was investigated to understand fundamental changes in structure and function related to the future utility in materials and medicine in space environments. About 15% of the film surfaces were etched by heavy ionizing particles such as atomic oxygen, the major component of the low-Earth orbit space environment. Unexpectedly, more than 80% of the silk and collagen materials were chemically crosslinked by space radiation. These findings are critical for designing next-generation biocompatible materials for contact with living systems in space environments, where the effects of heavy ionizing particles and other cosmic radiation need to be considered.
To estimate the radiation risk of spacecraft crew during the mission, it is necessary to measure dose distribution at various compartments, on and inside the human body that can be simulated using various phantoms. Due to some convenient characteristics (especially small weight and dimensions), passive detectors are used to measure dosimetric quantities onboard spacecraft. This contribution deals with the measurement of dosimetric characteristics and spectra of linear energy transfer (LET) onboard the International Space Station (ISS) during two experiments with tissue-equivalent spherical Russian phantom MATROSHKA-R realized in years 2006 and 2008. To obtain LET spectra, total absorbed doses, and dose equivalents, we used combination of plastic nuclear track detectors and thermoluminescence detectors. The detectors were placed at various locations on the surface of the MATROSHKA-R phantom; some detectors were also inserted inside this phantom. The variation of dosimetric quantities obtained during both missions is discussed. The dose characteristics vary with the position of the detectors on or inside the phantom; the absorbed dose and dose equivalent can differ almost twice.
In this study, we analyzed the biological and physical organ dose equivalents for International Space Station (ISS) astronauts. Individual physical dosimetry is difficult in space due to the complexity of the space radiation environment, which consists of protons, heavy ions and secondary neutrons, and the modification of these radiation types in tissue as well as limitations in dosimeter devices that can be worn for several months in outer space. Astronauts returning from missions to the ISS undergo biodosimetry assessment of chromosomal damage in lymphocyte cells using the multicolor fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) technique. Individual-based pre-flight dose responses for lymphocyte exposure in vitro to γ rays were compared to those exposed to space radiation in vivo to determine an equivalent biological dose. We compared the ISS biodosimetry results, NASA's space radiation transport models of organ dose equivalents, and results from ISS and space shuttle phantom torso experiments. Physical and biological doses for 19 ISS astronauts yielded average effective doses and individual or population-based biological doses for the approximately 6-month missions of 72 mSv and 85 or 81 mGy-Eq, respectively. Analyses showed that 80% or more of organ dose equivalents on the ISS are from galactic cosmic rays and only a small contribution is from trapped protons and that GCR doses were decreased by the high level of solar activity in recent years. Comparisons of models to data showed that space radiation effective doses can be predicted to within about a ±10% accuracy by space radiation transport models. Finally, effective dose estimates for all previous NASA missions are summarized.
The “SCORPION” program onboard the Russian Segment (RS) of the International Space Station (ISS) is designed to carry out complex research of the effects of the nar-Earth space parameters on the conditions under which various experiments and operations are being conducted. Special attention in this program was paid to the biological objects onboard the orbital station, e.g. it w as found that variation in the number of colony forming units (micromicets and bacteria) correlates with the solar activity and the absorbed dose. The “SCORPION” experiment onboard the RS ISS started in January 2002. It was designed to measure the following parameters inside the space absorbed doses in different places inside the RS ISS, the fluxes of energetic charged particles, neutrons and gamma-quanta; the vectors of the magnetic field and low-frequency electromagnetic waves. At the same time the growth of micromicets on the samples of various materials was studied. The description of the “SCORPION” experiment and the preliminary results obtained onboard the RS ISS in 2002 are presented.
Cosmic ray investigations during the marco polo and eneide missions with the sileye-3/alteino experiment
The Sileye-3/Alteino experiment is devoted to the measurement of the radiation environment and the cosmic ray nuclear abundance inside the International Space Station. Other goals include the investigation of the Light Flash phenomenon and the measurement of the shielding effectiveness of different materials. The detectors used are a silicon strip detector capable to detect cosmic rays up to Iron in the energy range above 60Mev/n and an electroencephalograph to monitor astronaut’s brain activity. The experiment has been used during the Marco Polo (2002) and Eneide (2005) missions. Currently Sileye-3 is being employed in the framework of the ESA ALTCRISS project to perform a long term survey of the radiation environment on board the ISS.
The Altcriss project aims to perform a long term survey of the radiation environment on board the International Space Station. Measurements are being performed with active and passive devices in different locations and orientations of the Russian segment of the station. The goal is to perform a detailed evaluation of the differences in particle fluence and nuclear composition due to different shielding material and attitude of the station. The Sileye-3/Alteino detector is used to identify nuclei up to Iron in the energy range above ≃60 MeV/n. Several passive dosimeters (TLDs, CR39) are also placed in the same location of Sileye-3 detector. Polyethylene shielding is periodically interposed in front of the detectors to evaluate the effectiveness of shielding on the nuclear component of the cosmic radiation. The project was submitted to ESA in reply to the AO in the Life and Physical Science of 2004 and data taking began in December 2005. Dosimeters and data cards are rotated every 6 months: up to now three launches of dosimeters and data cards have been performed and have been returned with the end of expedition 12 and 13.
The experiment Sileye-3/Alteino was first operational on board the International Space Station between 27/4 and 1/5/2002. It is constituted of a cosmic ray silicon detector and an electroencephalograph and is used to monitor radiation environment and study the light flash phenomenon in space. As a stand-alone device, Sileye-3/Alteino can monitor in real time cosmic ray nuclei. In this work, we report on relative nuclear abundance measurements in different regions of the orbit for nuclei from B to Fe in the energy range above ≃60 MeV/n. Abundances of nuclei such as O and Ne relative to C are found to be increased in respect to particle composition outside of the station, whereas the Fe group is reduced. This effect could be ascribed to nuclear interactions with the hull of the station.
The results of an investigation of radiation environment on board the ISS with apogee/perigee of 420/380 km and inclination 51.6° are presented. For measurement of important characteristics of cosmic rays (particles fluxes, LET spectrum, equivalent doses and heavy ions with Z ≥ 2 ) a nuclear photographic emulsion as a controllable threshold detector was used. The use of this detector permits a registration of the LET spectrum of charged particles within wide range of d E / d x and during last years it has already been successfully used on board the MIR station, Space Shuttles and “Kosmos” spacecrafts. An integral LET spectrum was measured in the range 0.5– 2.2 × 10 3 keV / μ m and the value of equivalent dose 360 μ Sv / day was estimated. The flux of biologically dangerous heavy particles with Z ≥ 2 was measured ( 3.85 × 10 3 particles / cm 2 ) .