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Center Innovation Fund: JSC CIF

Radiation Shielding Utilizing A High Temperature Superconducting Magnet

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Project objective is to evaluate human radiation protection and architecture utilizing existing superconducting magnet technology while attempting to significantly reduce shielding mass, manage habitation module sizing, and vehicle cost at the expense of accepting some level of radiation (protecting from SPE and some GCR radiation). Complete radiation protection comes with great cost through huge mass designs. Protection performance will be evaluated using a percent reduction factor and acceptable dose equivalent.  This combined with shorter duration exploration missions utilizing high power electric propulsion systems and creative shielding architectures beyond Low Earth Orbit is the approach to managing crew health.

This project aims to leverage near-term high-temperature superconducting technologies to assess applicability of magnetic shielding for protecting against exposure from Solar Proton Events (SPEs) and dose reduction for Galactic Cosmic Radiation (GCR) utilizing HTS magnet technology concepts. Shield design can have substantially lower mass/power requirements than previously thought. Modeling efforts will include: (1) Modeling of realistic magnetic fields (Halbach array) utilizing full-scale finite-element methods that include fringing fields; (2) leveraging of recent plasma trapping results (Rutherford/Appleton Laboratory); (3) and if time permits, a habitat model will be included as parasitic shielding. Testing will be conducted with a magnet array for plasma trapping facilitated at Ad Astra utilizing current Space Act Agreements. The study will evaluate shorter duration missions from a power, mass, flux reduction perspective and provide an active and passive shielding mass comparison.

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.

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