Radiation Environment Monitor (Radiation Environment Monitor) - 07.15.14

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery
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The Radiation Environment Monitor could become the basis for the first space radiation dosimeters. Dosimeters measure how much radiation a person absorbs, and they are frequently used in nuclear power facilities, cancer treatment centers and other locations where people are exposed to radiation. The experiment tests technology that can continuously and quickly measure space radiation exposure.
 

Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending



The following content was provided by Edward Neal Zapp, Ph.D., Edward Semones, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.

Experiment Details

OpNom Radiation Environment Monitor

Principal Investigator(s)

  • Edward Neal Zapp, Ph.D., Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States
  • Edward Semones, Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States

  • Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
  • Lawrence S. Pinsky, Physics Department University of Houston, Houston, TX, United States

  • Developer(s)
    University of Houston, Houston, TX, United States

    Sponsoring Space Agency
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

    Sponsoring Organization
    Technology Demonstration Office (TDO)

    Research Benefits
    Information Pending

    ISS Expedition Duration
    May 2012 - Ongoing

    Expeditions Assigned
    31/32,33/34,35/36,37/38,39/40,41/42,43/44,45/46

    Previous ISS Missions
    Information Pending

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    Experiment Description

    Research Overview

    • This Radiation Environment Monitor demonstration will provide information that is required to enable the design of an operational active personal space radiation dosimeter.


    • In order to effectively manage radiation risks to crewmembers during long-duration space exploration beyond low Earth orbit, there is a strong need to monitor personal radiation exposure in near real time. The current technology uses passive dosimetry techniques and associated logistics that require down-mass and ground analysis which provides radiation dose information several months after return. The REM is a low mass, low volume and low power dosimeter that may meet the near real time exposure monitoring of crew members.


    • In the future, with limited down-mass resources or resupply ability and the lack of real-time dosimeter measurements, it is imperative to study the Radiation Environment Monitor technology as the first generation of personal active dosimeter.

    Description

    This Radiation Environment Monitor demonstration will provide information that is required to enable the design of an operational active personal space radiation dosimeter.

    The objectives of the experiment are to demonstrate the viability of this technology in the space radiation environment and the ability to assess crew exposure in near real time (via ground software).

    In order to effectively manage radiation risks to crewmembers during long-duration space exploration beyond low Earth orbit, there is a strong need to monitor personal radiation exposure in near real time. The current technology uses passive dosimetry techniques and associated logistics that require down-mass and ground analysis which provides radiation dose information several months after return. The REM is a low mass, low volume and low power dosimeter that may meet the near real time exposure monitoring of crew members.

    In the future, with limited down-mass resources or resupply ability and the lack of real-time dosimeter measurements, it is imperative to study the Radiation Environment Monitor technology as the first generation of personal active dosimeter.

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    Applications

    Space Applications

    Crews are continually exposed to radiation from high-energy particles in space, including some that come from the sun and others that come from different cosmic sources. The Earth’s magnetic field largely shields the planet and spacecraft orbiting close by, such as the International Space Station, but long-distance and long-duration space flights expose crew members to higher levels of radiation. Current radiation sensors must be returned to Earth for analysis, but dosimeters developed in the Radiation Environment Monitor experiment could provide dosage data more quickly.
     

    Earth Applications

    The Radiation Environment Monitor uses Medipix technology with the expectations of creating the first personal space radiation dosimeter, a device used to detect radiation directly on crewmembers. This research descends from research conducted at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland. This device is being tested for use in medical imaging on Earth in efforts to monitor radiation dosage in patients.
     

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    Operations

    Operational Requirements

    The desired minimum data acquired should span all of the likely radiation environments seen during the ISS’s orbit. At a minimum, an increment’s worth of data should be obtained. Additionally, if any significant Solar Particle Events (SPEs) occur while the demonstration is ongoing, an effort should be made to take data throughout the duration of the SPE. Should additional operational time be available, variations in software settings can be exercised to validate the ground simulations through adjustments to the parameters via the software input/configuration files.

    Continuous measurement (for the duration of the increment, with daily data downloads) is required in order to record data during all locations of interest, with daily data download.

    Operational Protocols

    The Radiation Environment Monitor is powered by the laptop and controlled by software uploaded to the SSCs. Once the Radiation Environment Monitor is plugged into the SCC, the software will only need to be launched by the crew. The software will display dose and dose rate information during data collection, but the data collected by the device will be stored in computer files and ultimately downloaded to the ground for detailed analysis. The software may be terminated and re-started at any time without impacting the hardware.

    A checkout activity will be required to evaluate the initial settings of the detector's parameters. The checkout activity will consist of the deployment of one Radiation Environment Monitor, followed by data collection and a downlink of the data to allow the ground team time to evaluate if any of the parameters require modification. A calibration activity will then be required to uplink the updated parameter files to the SSCs, if needed. This checkout sequence will be repeated until the ground team has determined the optimal settings for the parameters have been determined.

    At the conclusion of the checkout, the remaining detectors will be deployed. All deployed detectors will run continuously for the entire increment.

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    Results/More Information
    Information Pending

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    Related Websites

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    Imagery

    image

    Ground-based image of REM hardware inserted into laptop USB drive.


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