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Technical Paper

Numerical Study of the Generation of Linear Energy Transfer Spectra for Space Radiation Applications

In analyzing charged particle spectra in space due to galactic cosmic rays (GCR) and solar particle events (SPE), the conversion of particle energy spectra into linear energy transfer (LET) distributions is a convenient guide in assessing biologically significant components of these spectra. The mapping of LET to energy is triple valued and can be defined only on open energy subintervals where the derivative of LET with respect to energy is not zero. Presented here is a well-defined numerical procedure which allows for the generation of LET spectra on the open energy subintervals that are integrable in spite of their singular nature. The efficiency and accuracy of the numerical procedures is demonstrated by providing examples of computed differential and integral LET spectra and their equilibrium components for historically large SPEs and 1977 solar minimum GCR environments. Due to the biological significance of tissue, all simulations are done with tissue as the target material.
Technical Paper

A Generalized Analytical Model for the Micro-dosimeter Response

An analytical prediction capability for space radiation in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), correlated with the Space Transportation System (STS) Shuttle Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter (TEPC) measurements is presented. The model takes into consideration the energy loss straggling and chord length distribution of the detector, and is capable of predicting energy deposition fluctuations in a micro-volume by incoming ions through direct events. The charged particle transport calculations correlated with STS 56, 51, 110 and 114 flights are accomplished by using the most recent version (2005) of the Langley Research Center (LaRC) deterministic ionized particle transport code High charge (Z) and Energy TRaNsport (HZETRN) which has been extensively verified with laboratory beam measurements and available space flight data.
Technical Paper

Radiation Exposure Analysis for ISS: The Female Astronaut in EVA

Special exposure limit recommendations have been designated by the National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP) for U. S. astronauts in low earth orbit (LEO) operations. These have been established from consideration of a 3% lifetime excess risk of cancer mortality for a 10-yr. active career. The most recent recommendations of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) have incorporated modified procedures for evaluating exposures with accompanying adjustments in career limits. Of special importance are the limit specifications for female exposures, which are approximately 40% less than those for males. Furthermore, radiosensitive organs unique to females require additional attention.
Technical Paper

Space Radiation Shielding strategies and Requirements for Deep Space Missions

The ultimate limitation to manned exploration of the solar system will likely be cumulative exposure of the crews to penetrating space radiations. The two major sources of these radiations during deep-space missions are solar particle events (flares) and galactic cosmic rays. Methods to estimate crew exposures and to evaluate concomitant shield requirements for these radiation sources are currently under development. Consisting of deterministic space radiation transport computer codes and accurate models of their nuclear interaction inputs, these calculational tools are employed to estimate the composition and thicknesses of candidate shield materials required for spacecraft equipment and crew protection. In this paper, the current status of model and code development is summarized, preliminary estimates of deep-space shield requirements are presented, and an assessment of radiation protection as a potential “showstopper” for manned deep-space missions will be made.
Technical Paper

Preliminary Analyses of Space Radiation Protection for Luner Base Surface Systems

Radiation shielding analyses are performed for candidate lunar base habitation modules. The study primarily addresses potential hazards due to contributions from the galactic cosmic rays (heavy ions). The NASA Langley Research Center's high energy nucleon and heavy ion transport codes are used to compute propagation of radiation through conventional and regolith shield materials. Computed values of linear energy transfer are converted to biological dose-equivalent using quality factors established by the International Commission on Radiological Protection. Spectral fluxes of heavy charged particles and corresponding dosimetric quantities are computed for a series of thicknesses in various shield media and are used as an input data base for algorithms pertaining to specific shielded geometries. Dosimetric results are presented as isodose contour maps of shielded configuration interiors.
Technical Paper

JOVIAN ICY MOON EXCURSIONS: Radiation Fields, Microbial Survival and Bio-contamination Study

The effects of both the cosmic ray heavy ion exposures and the intense trapped electron exposures are examined with respect to impact on cellular system survival on exterior spacecraft surfaces as well as at interior (shielded) locations for a sample mission to Jupiter’s moons. Radiation transport through shield materials and subsequent exposures are calculated with the established Langley heavy ion and electron deterministic codes. In addition to assessing fractional DNA single and double strand breaks, a variety of cell types are examined that have greatly differing radio-sensitivities. Finally, implications as to shield requirements for controlled biological experiments are discussed.
Technical Paper

Deep-Space Radiation Exposure Analysis for Solar Cycle XXI (1975-1986)

Ionizing radiation exposures and associated dosimetric quantities are evaluated for the 11-year solar cycle ending in 1986. Solar flare fluences for the 55 largest flares occurring during the cycle are superimposed on the galactic cosmic ray flux. Published summaries of flare data from the Interplanetary Monitoring Platform (IMP)-7 and IMP-8 satellites are used and include flares whose integrated fluences are greater than 107 protons/cm2 for energies in excess of 10 MeV. A standard cosmic ray environment model for ion flux values at solar minimum and maximum is invoked with an assumed sinusoidal variation between the lower and upper limits. The radiation shielding analysis is carried out for equivalent water-shield thicknesses between 2 and 15 g/cm2. Results are expressed in terms of cumulative incurred dose equivalents for deep-space missions lasting between 3 months and 3 years.
Technical Paper

Space Radiation Shielding for a Martian Habitat

Radiation shielding analyses are performed for a candidate Mars base habitat. The Langley cosmic ray transport code and the Langley nucleon transport code are used to quantify the transport and attenuation of galactic cosmic rays and solar flare protons through both the Martian atmosphere and regolith shielding. Doses at the surface and at various altitudes were calculated in a previous study using both a high-density and a low-density Mars atmosphere model. This study extends the previous low-density results to include the further transport of the ionizing radiation that reaches the surface through additional shielding provided by Martian regolith. A four-compound regolith model, which includes SiO2, Fe2O3, MgO, and CaO, was selected based on the chemistry of the Viking 1 Lander site. The spectral fluxes of heavy charged particles and the corresponding dosimetric quantities are computed for a series of thicknesses in the shield media after traversing the atmosphere.