Operational advances for atmospheric radiation dose rate specification

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Monday, 5 January 2015: 4:15 PM
227A-C (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
W. Kent Tobiska, Space Environment Technologies, Pacific Palisades, CA; and D. Bouwer, J. Bailey, L. Didkovsky, K. Judge, H. Garrett, W. Atwell, B. Gersey, R. Wilkins, D. Rice, R. W. Schunk, D. Bell, C. J. Mertens, X. Xu, G. Crowley, A. Reynolds, I. Azeem, M. Wiltberger, S. Wiley, S. Bacon, E. H. Teets Jr., A. Sim, and L. Dominik

Handout (2.8 MB) Handout (484.2 kB)

Space weather's effects upon the near-Earth environment are due to dynamic changes in the energy transfer processes from the Sun's photons, particles, and fields. Of the domains that are affected by space weather, the coupling between the solar and galactic high-energy particles, the magnetosphere, and atmospheric regions can significantly affect humans and our technology as a result of radiation exposure. Space Environment Technologies (SET) has developed innovative, new space weather observations that will become part of the toolset that is transitioned into operational use. One prototype operational system for providing timely information about the effects of space weather is SET's Automated Radiation Measurements for Aerospace Safety (ARMAS) system. ARMAS will provide the “weather” of the radiation environment to improve aircraft crew and passenger safety. Through several dozen flights the ARMAS project has successfully demonstrated the operation of a micro dosimeter on commercial aviation altitude aircraft that captures the real-time radiation environment resulting from Galactic Cosmic Rays and Solar Energetic Particles. The real-time radiation exposure is computed as an effective dose rate (body-averaged over the radiative-sensitive organs and tissues in units of microsieverts per hour); total ionizing dose is captured on the aircraft, downlinked in real-time via Iridium satellites, processed on the ground into effective dose rates, compared with NASA's Langley Research Center (LaRC) most recent Nowcast of Atmospheric Ionizing Radiation System (NAIRAS) global radiation climatology model runs, and then made available to end users via the web and smart phone apps. We are extending the dose measurement domain above commercial aviation altitudes into the stratosphere with a collaborative project organized by NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center (AFRC) called Upper-atmospheric Space and Earth Weather eXperiment (USEWX). In USEWX we will be flying on the ER-2 high altitude aircraft a micro dosimeter for effective dose rate measurements and a thermal neutron monitor to characterize Single Event Effects (SEEs) in avionics. In this presentation we describe recent ARMAS and USEWX advances that will ultimately provide operational users with real-time dose and dose rate data for human tissue and avionics exposure risk mitigation.

Supplementary URL: http://sol.spacenvironment.net/~ARMAS/index.html