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Journal Article

A Fresh Look at Radiation Exposures from Major Solar Proton Events

2008-06-29
2008-01-2164
Solar proton events (SPEs) represent the single-most significant source of acute radiation exposure during space missions. Historically, an exponential in rigidity (particle momentum) fit has been used to express the SPE energy spectrum using GOES data up to 100 MeV. More recently, researchers have found that a Weibull fit better represents the energy spectrum up to 1000 MeV (1 GeV). In addition, the availability of SPE data extending up to several GeV has been incorporated in analyses to obtain a more complete and accurate energy spectrum representation. In this paper we discuss the major SPEs that have occurred over the past five solar cycles (~50+ years) in detail - in particular, Aug 1972 and Sept & Oct 1989 SPEs. Using a high-energy particle transport/dose code, radiation exposure estimates are presented for various thicknesses of aluminum. The effects on humans and spacecraft systems are also discussed in detail.
Technical Paper

Validation Studies of the GRNTRN Code for Radiation Transport

2007-07-09
2007-01-3118
To meet the challenge of future deep space programs an accurate and efficient engineering code for analyzing the shielding requirements against high-energy galactic heavy radiations is needed. Such engineering design codes require establishing validation processes using laboratory ion beams and space flight measurements in realistic geometries. In consequence, a new version of the HZETRN code capable of simulating HZE ions with either laboratory or space boundary conditions is currently under development. The new code, GRNTRN, is based on a Green's function approach to the solution of Boltzmann's transport equation and like its predecessor is deterministic in nature. Code validation in the laboratory environment is addressed by showing that GRNTRN accurately predicts energy loss spectra as measured by solid-state detectors in ion beam experiments.
Technical Paper

Standardized Radiation Shield Design Method: 2005 HZETRN

2006-07-17
2006-01-2109
Research committed by the Langley Research Center through 1995 resulting in the HZETRN code provides the current basis for shield design methods according to NASA STD-3000 (2005). With this new prominence, the database, basic numerical procedures, and algorithms are being re-examined with new methods of verification and validation being implemented to capture a well defined algorithm for engineering design processes to be used in this early development phase of the Bush initiative. This process provides the methodology to transform the 1995 HZETRN research code into the 2005 HZETRN engineering code to be available for these early design processes. In this paper, we will review the basic derivations including new corrections to the codes to insure improved numerical stability and provide benchmarks for code verification.
Technical Paper

A New Method for Calculating Low Energy Neutron Flux

2006-07-17
2006-01-2149
A new method is developed for calculating the low energy neutron flux in a space environment which is protected from galactic cosmic rays (GCR) and solar particle events (SPE) by shielding materials. Our calculations are compared with low energy neutron flux flight data recorded on four different STS low earth orbit missions. We also compare our neutron flux calculations with the low energy neutron flux data recorded by MIR. The low energy neutron flux calculations can be described as a deterministic method for solving the Boltzmann equation for the light ion flux associated with a given environment. Existing Monte Carlo neutron flux simulations associated with the MIR and ISS space stations are also compared with our deterministic method for calculating neutron flux.
Technical Paper

An Improved Green’s Function Code for HZE Ion Transport

2006-07-17
2006-01-2147
A new Green’s function code (GRNTRN) capable of simulating HZE ions with either laboratory or space boundary conditions is currently under development. The computational model consists of combinations of physical perturbation expansions based on the scales of atomic interaction, multiple scattering, and nuclear reactive processes with use of the Neumann-asymptotic expansions with non-perturbative corrections. The code contains energy loss due to straggling, nuclear attenuation, nuclear fragmentation with energy dispersion and downshifts. Recent publications have focused on code validation in the laboratory environment and have shown that the code predicts energy loss spectra accurately as measured by solid-state detectors in ion beam experiments. In this paper emphasis is placed on code validation with space boundary conditions.
Technical Paper

A Time Dependent Model for the Lunar Radiation Environment

2005-07-11
2005-01-2831
In view of manned missions targeted to the Moon, for which radiation exposure is one of the greatest challenges to be tackled, it is of fundamental importance to have available a tool, which allows determination of the particle flux and spectra at any time and at any point of the lunar surface. With this goal in mind, a new model of the Moon’s radiation environment due to Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) and Solar Particle Events (SPE) has been developed. Primary particles reach the lunar surface, and are transported all throughout the subsurface layers, with backscattering patterns taken into account. The surface itself has been modeled as regolith and bedrock, with composition taken from the results of the instruments flown on the Apollo missions, namely on the Apollo 12 from the Oceanus Procellarum landing site. Subsurface environments like lava tubes have been considered in the analysis.
Technical Paper

Neutrons in Space: Shield Models and Design Issues

2000-07-10
2000-01-2414
The normal working and living areas of the astronaut are designed to provide an acceptable level of protection against the hazards of ionizing space radiation. Attempts to reduce the exposures require intervening shield materials to reduce the transmitted radiation. An unwelcome side effect of the shielding is the production of neutrons, which are themselves dangerous particles that can be (but are not always) more hazardous than the particles that produced them. This is especially true depending on the choice of shield materials. Although neutrons are not a normal part of the space environment, they can be a principle component of astronaut exposure in the massive spacecraft's required for human space travel and habitation near planetary surfaces or other large bodies of material in space.
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