Neutron Environment Calculations for Low Earth Orbit
The long term exposure of astronauts on the developing International Space Station (ISS) requires an accurate knowledge of the internal exposure environment for human risk assessment and other onboard processes. The natural environment is moderated by the solar wind, which varies over the solar cycle. The HZETRN high charge and energy transport code developed at NASA Langley Research Center can be used to evaluate the neutron environment on ISS. A time dependent model for the ambient environment in low earth orbit is used. This model includes GCR radiation moderated by the Earth’s magnetic field, trapped protons, and a recently completed model of the albedo neutron environment formed through the interaction of galactic cosmic rays with the Earth’s atmosphere. Using this code, the neutron environments for space shuttle missions were calculated and comparisons were made to measurements by the Johnson Space Center with onboard detectors.