Spacecraft Single Event Environments at High Shielding Mass (HiMassSEE) - 01.15.14
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Spacecraft Single Event Environments at High Shielding Mass (HiMassSEE) measures space radiation interactions with spacecraft structure and shielding using several passive track detector technologies to provide a more accurate definition of International Space Station (ISS) payload accommodationns, radiation transport model validation, and flight demonstration data on advanced microelectronics and chemical dosimeters.
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Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States
Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Technology Demonstration Office (TDO)
ISS Expedition Duration
May 2012 - September 2014
Previous ISS Missions
- Space radiation and secondary radiation caused by interaction of space radiation with spacecraft materials pose a significant possible hazard cause for the operation of contemporary and future high performance electronics on board the ISS and other future spacecraft. Increasing use of high atomic number elements in microelectronic devices increases the risk of high energy nuclear fragmentation products caused by collision of cosmic ray primary and secondary shower particles high Z elements in avionics components
The nature of the secondary radiation is to be assessed. The interaction of both primary and secondary space radiation with various metallic elements, state-of-the-art memory devices, and chemical dosimeter systems will be established. radiation transport model verification data applicable to high shielding mass environments will also be produced by the HiMassSEE flight experiment.
- The research will help determine the effects of secondary radiation on the functioning of present and future advanced electronics that contain high atomic number elements utilized in high shielding mass environments on ISS. Further, this investigation will provide data for validation of space radiation transport codes used to predict space radiation effects in support of spacecraft avionics parts selection, design, and verification.
HiMassSEE aims to characterize the combined primary and secondary ionizing radiation environments in the high shielding mass environment on board the ISS. The project also strives to support the selection and verification of avionics and materials through the precise description of nuclear reactions induced by secondary particle showers inside the ISS.
The median shielding mass, where the HiMassSEE experiment is located, is estimated to be between 20 and 50 g/cm2 Al equivalents. Radiation simulation software packages such as FLUKA and HZETRN2010 have been used to generate numerical models of the interaction of space radiation with the known shielding mass of the ISS. One of the major roles of the HiMassSEE experiment is to determine the accuracy of the FLUKA, HZETRN 2010, and other models with respect to specific kinds of in-flight radiation induced damage to selected materials and avionics components
Previously unexamined nuclear reactions of high Z elements which are induced by the combined primary and secondary spacecraft radiation environment are studied in this experiment. To achieve this, high linear energy transfer (LET) particles emitted from thin metal foils due to incident primary radiation are recorded in dielectric track-etch detectors for post flight laboratory analysis.
The HiMassSEE payload will also provide flight a demonstration of recently developed Fluorescence Nuclear Track Detectors (FNTD).
HiMassSEE determines the effects of the combined primary/secondary radiation environment on advanced technologies of practical interest. The advanced materials that are studied for radiation damage are nonvolatile ferroelectric RAM, graphene film nanoelectronic materials, chalcogenide RAM, magneto resistive RAM, rare-earth-element vanadate Quantum Dots, and metal oxide semiconductor (MOS) flash memory devices.
Texas Instruments microcontroller devices of programmatic interest to JSC ISS are also examined for radiation damage and for data retention of flash memory while unpowered.
Another study which involves a new concept in space radiation dosimetry is pursued. Radio-fluorescent dyes responsive between 1 and 1000 cGy (centi-Gray units) are measured by UV/VIS (ultraviolet and visible) spectroscopy before and after flight and compare it to ground-based controls. These dye solutions have the potential to act as low cost integrating radiation dosimeters.
Dilute aqueous solutions of ultra-high-molecular weight polymers (having low polydispersity) will be analyzed before and after flight as well as against ground controls to test models of space radiation chain breaking, crosslinking, and functional group modifications. by reaction with radiation induced OH radicals in water
Finally, any effects of high energy heavy nuclear reaction products ( generated by space radiation primary and secondary particl e interactions with lead foils) on thin carbon fiber composite materials samples by measurieng post flight mechanical properties against ground controls.
Controlling the cost of space projects and programs while increasing mission success rates is essential for future manned and robotic interplanetary activities. While the International Space Station low-Earth orbit environment is somewhat less severe than the interplanetary environment, all the same space IR factors are present in low-Earth orbit so that the results of HiMassSEE can be extrapolated with confidence to in support of future lunar and planetary programs.
Our present way of life depends on the successful operation of weather, communications, and defense satellites all of which are exposed to the damaging effects of space IR. HiMassSEE will provide data to support the design and development of more reliable and less costly spacecraft. In addition, commercial aircraft fly at high altitudes at which some exposure to space IR primary and secondary particles is expected. HiMassSEE data can also contribute to lower cost and more reliable avionics systems for commercial and military aircraft as well low cost radiation dosimetry devices for flight crews.
The payload is completely passive and requires no ISS power, telemetry, or thermal control services. The payload requires no crew time except for placement is the ISS US Lab ZSR lockerat beginning of mission and retrieval/packaging for return after 3 to 5 years. All engineering physics data products are recovered by laboratory analysis of the payload after flight. HiMassSEE investigators must be notified if the HighMassSEE payload is relocated to another soorage location before end of mission