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Adv Space Res. 1996;17(2):117-20.

Effects of orbit progression on the radiation exposures from solar proton fluxes in low Earth orbit under geomagnetic storm conditions.

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NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA 23681-0001, USA.


The present study examines the effects of orbit progression on the exposures within a Space Station Freedom module in a 51.6-degree inclined orbit at 450 km. The storm evolution is modeled after the November 1960 event, and the solar proton flux evolution is taken from the August 1972 solar proton event. The effects of a strong magnetic shock, such as was observed during the October 1989 event, is also modeled. The statistics on hourly average storm fields for the last forty years reveal that the largest geomagnetic storms approach a Dst value of -500 nanotesla at the storm peak. Similarly, one of the largest satellite-measured proton flux (> 10 MeV) for space exposures is the event of August 1972. The effects of orbit progression (advance of the line of nodes) is examined for the above conditions to study the variation of exposures under differing times of occurrence of the solar proton peak intensity, attainment of geomagnetic storm maximum, and the location of the line of nodes of the last geomagnetically protected orbit. The impact of the inherent inhomogeneity of the space station module is examined as a limiting factor on exposure with regard to the need of additional parasitic shielding.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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