5.1 Atmospheric radiation flight dose rates

Tuesday, 12 January 2016: 11:00 AM
Room 352 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
W. Kent Tobiska, Space Environment Technologies, Pacific Palisades, CA; and D. Bouwer, J. Bailey, L. Didkovsky, K. Judge, W. Atwell, B. Gersey, R. Wilkins, D. Rice, R. W. Schunk, D. Bell, C. J. Mertens, X. Xu, M. Wiltberger, S. Wiley, and E. H. Teets Jr.

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 been conducting space weather observations of the atmospheric radiation environment at aviation altitudes that will eventually be transitioned into air traffic management operations. The Automated Radiation Measurements for Aerospace Safety (ARMAS) system and Upper-atmospheric Space and Earth Weather eXperiment (USEWX) both are providing dose rate measurements. Both activities are under the ARMAS goal of providing the “weather” of the radiation environment to improve aircraft crew and passenger safety. Over 5-dozen ARMAS and USEWX flights have 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, 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. Flight altitudes now exceed 60,000 ft. and extend above commercial aviation altitudes into the stratosphere. In this presentation we describe recent ARMAS and USEWX results.
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