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Radiat Res. 2003 Mar;159(3):381-90.

Benchmark studies of the effectiveness of structural and internal materials as radiation shielding for the international space station.

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Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.
U CA, Berkeley


Accelerator-based measurements and model calculations have been used to study the heavy-ion radiation transport properties of materials in use on the International Space Station (ISS). Samples of the ISS aluminum outer hull were augmented with various configurations of internal wall material and polyethylene. The materials were bombarded with high-energy iron ions characteristic of a significant part of the galactic cosmic-ray (GCR) heavy-ion spectrum. Transmitted primary ions and charged fragments produced in nuclear collisions in the materials were measured near the beam axis, and a model was used to extrapolate from the data to lower beam energies and to a lighter ion. For the materials and ions studied, at incident particle energies from 1037 MeV/nucleon down to at least 600 MeV/nucleon, nuclear fragmentation reduces the average dose and dose equivalent per incident ion. At energies below 400 MeV/nucleon, the calculation predicts that as material is added, increased ionization energy loss produces increases in some dosimetric quantities. These limited results suggest that the addition of modest amounts of polyethylene or similar material to the interior of the ISS will reduce the dose to ISS crews from space radiation; however, the radiation transport properties of ISS materials should be evaluated with a realistic space radiation field.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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