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Fast Neutron Dosimeter for the Space Environment, Phase II

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Fast Neutron Dosimeter for the Space Environment, Phase II
Model calculations and risk assessment estimates indicate that secondary neutrons, with energies ranging between 0.5 to >150 MeV, make a significant contribution to the total absorbed dose received by space crews during long duration space missions [1-3]. Advanced scintillation materials, which exhibit radiation type and mass dependent emission times, coupled to SSPM detectors, provide the optimum volume to payload performance and the ability to easily discriminate between the fraction of dose, which results from secondary neutrons, and that which results from exposure to energetic charged particles and background gamma-rays. The Phase-1 effort successfully characterized the critical components of the proposed dosimeter, specifically, the response of the scintillation material to irradiation by gamma-rays, protons, and neutrons, as well as the performance of the SSPM detector. The Phase-1 modeling studies provide a critical foundation for assessing the anticipated signals in the space radiation environment. The proposed dosimeter would overcome many of the limitations in the current generation of neutron dosimeters, and would provide baseline information on the physics, needed with the information from biological studies, to assess risk in future human-space-exploration missions to the moon and Mars. More »

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