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: Radiation environment
Anisotropies in the low Earth orbit (LEO) radiation environment were found to influence the thermoluminescence detectors (TLD) dose within the (International Space Station) ISS 7A Service Module. Subsequently, anisotropic environmental models with improved dynamic time extrapolation have been developed including westward and northern drifts using AP8 Min & Max as estimates of the historic spatial distribution of trapped protons in the 1965 and 1970 era, respectively. In addition, a directional dependent geomagnetic cutoff model was derived for geomagnetic field configurations from the 1945 to 2020 time frame. A dynamic neutron albedo model based on our atmospheric radiation studies has likewise been required to explain LEO neutron measurements. The simultaneous measurements of dose and dose rate using four Liulin instruments at various locations in the US LAB and Node 1 has experimentally demonstrated anisotropic effects in ISS 6A and are used herein to evaluate the adequacy of these revised environmental models.
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.
Several passive detectors were used to estimate dosimetry and microdosimetry characteristics of radiation field onboard spacecraft, namely: thermoluminescent detectors (TLDs), mainly to appreciate the contribution of radiation with low-linear energy transfer (LET); Si diode, to try to establish the contribution of fast neutrons; an LET spectrometer based on the chemically etched polyallyldiglycolcarbonate etched track detectors (PADC-TEDs). Detectors have been exposed onboard MIR and International Space Station (ISS) since 1997, they were also used during the MESSAGE 2 biological experiment, October 2003. The results are presented, analysed and discussed. Particular attention is devoted to the possibility of estimating neutron contribution based on data obtained with PADC-TED spectrometer of LET.
Operational radiation protection for astronauts and cosmonauts and correlated activities of ESA Medical Operations
Since the early times of human spaceflight radiation has been, besides the influence of microgravity on the human body, recognized as a main health concern to astronauts and cosmonauts. The radiation environment that the crew experiences during spaceflight differs significantly to that found on earth due to particles of greater potential for biological damage. Highly energetic charged particles, such as protons, helium nuclei (“alpha particles”) and heavier ions up to iron, originating from several sources, as well as protons and electrons trapped in the Earth's radiation belts, are the main contributors. The exposure that the crew receives during a spaceflight significantly exceeds exposures routinely received by terrestrial radiation workers. The European Space Agency's (ESA) Astronaut Center (EAC) in Cologne, Germany, is home of the European Astronaut Corps. Part of the EAC is the Crew Medical Support Office (CMSO or HSF-AM) responsible for ensuring the health and well-being of the European Astronauts. A sequence of activities is conducted to protect astronauts and cosmonauts health, including those aiming to mitigate adverse effects of space radiation. All health related activities are part of a multinational Medical Operations (MedOps) concept, which is executed by the different Space Agencies participating in the human spaceflight program of the International Space Station (ISS). This article will give an introduction to the current measures used for radiation monitoring and protection of astronauts and cosmonauts. The operational guidelines that shall ensure proper implementation and execution of those radiation protection measures will be addressed. Operational hardware for passive and active radiation monitoring and for personal dosimetry, as well as the operational procedures that are applied, are described.
Cosmic ray detection on the ISS by a 3 axes track etch detector stack and the complementary calibration studies
The complex radiation field inside the International Space Station (ISS) as well as the dose received by its crew was studied for several years in the BRADOS ( 1 – 5 ) projects organized by the Institute for Biomedical Problems (IBMP, Moscow) with the participation of different laboratories. The results of the measurements performed during the BRADOS-5 project by a 3 axes solid state nuclear track detector (SSNTD) stack as LET spectra and dose values are presented. According to the results, no remarkable directional dependence could be observed in the radiation field. The averaged absorbed dose rate and dose equivalent rate values above ∼ 12 keV μ m – 1 were 27.0 ± 1.6 μ Gy d – 1 and 211.4 ± 14.4 μ Sv d – 1 , respectively, resulting in an averaged quality factor of 7.9 ± 0.1 .
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.
Astronaut's organ doses inferred from measurements in a human phantom outside the international space station
Space radiation hazards are recognized as a key concern for human space flight. For long-term interplanetary missions, they constitute a potentially limiting factor since current protection limits for low-Earth orbit missions may be approached or even exceeded. In such a situation, an accurate risk assessment requires knowledge of equivalent doses in critical radiosensitive organs rather than only skin doses or ambient doses from area monitoring. To achieve this, the MATROSHKA experiment uses a human phantom torso equipped with dedicated detector systems. We measured for the first time the doses from the diverse components of ionizing space radiation at the surface and at different locations inside the phantom positioned outside the International Space Station, thereby simulating an extravehicular activity of an astronaut. The relationships between the skin and organ absorbed doses obtained in such an exposure show a steep gradient between the doses in the uppermost layer of the skin and the deep organs with a ratio close to 20. This decrease due to the body self-shielding and a concomitant increase of the radiation quality factor by 1.7 highlight the complexities of an adequate dosimetry of space radiation. The depth-dose distributions established by MATROSHKA serve as benchmarks for space radiation models and radiation transport calculations that are needed for mission planning.
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.