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Advanced Exploration Systems Division

RadWorks Project

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

The RadWorks project's overarching objective is the maturation and demonstration of affordable, enabling solutions to the radiation-related challenges presented to human exploration beyond Earth orbit.

This technology is categorized as a hardware system for other applications.  Since its inception in FY12, the RadWorks project has had as its overarching objective the maturation and demonstration of affordable, enabling solutions to the radiation-related challenges presented to human exploration.  This has been done through the maturation and demonstration of system-level monitoring and design solutions.  Since FY12, the project has continued to develop and deliver affordable, prototype and flight caliber element-integrated monitoring and alert/warning subsystems capable of enabling both ground-supported and autonomous architectural operations.  In addition, the project has been doing comparative assessments of data collected utilizing radiation modeling programs, as well as producing advancements of modeling capability to enable protection and operational efficiencies for radiation shielding. 

For each year, the portfolio of technology work can change.  For FY19, the RadWorks project is continuing its maturation and flight certification of advanced, miniaturized radiation measurement technologies, along with their demonstrations.  The RadWorks project successfully flew the Battery Operated Independent Radiation Detector (BIRD), a simplified, non-integrated version of Radiation Environment Monitor (REM) aboard the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) to validate system operation in a space radiation environment and record charged particle data for post-flight analysis.  In addition, there are three REM sensors flying on the International Space Station (ISS).  These sensors are plugged into laptops and are measuring the ionizing radiation environment.  These sensors will be transitioned to Flight Operations in this upcoming fiscal year.  The Miniaturized Particle Telescope (MPT), a stacked version of the REM sensor is also flying on the ISS as a test instrument to prove out the TimePix technology.  The Hybrid Electronic Radiation Assessor (HERA) which is slated to fly as a Flight Test Objective (FTO) on the MPCV Experimental Module-1 (EM-1) flight, has been successfully integrated into the capsule awaiting flight in 2020.  The flight spare for this launch has been slated to fly on ISS and collect data for a 30-day end-to-end test beginning in January of 2019.  The next generation of the HERA is slated to fly on the MPCV EM-2 flight, as an integrated part of the Caution & Warning System (CWS).  A payload, the Fast Neutron Spectrometer (FNS), developed by Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) is currently flying and collecting data on the ISS.  Modeling work conducted by the project, which is being utilized by multiple vehicle developers, includes update to modeling capabilities for determining sheltering needs in vehicle designs, as well as to assist in vehicle layouts to maximize crew protection capabilities. Shielding concepts are being assessed to enhance safe days in space. 

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