European Crew Personal Active Dosimeter (ESA-Active-Dosimeters) - 08.23.17

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Radiation in space remains one of the inevitable and dominating factors relevant to crew health, safety and mission success. The European Crew Personal Active Dosimeter (EuCPAD) project tests an active radiation dosimeter system. This represents the first time that crews wear active dosimeters in order to measure changes in radiation exposure over time providing variation of radiation dose data with respect to ISS orbit and altitude, solar cycle, and solar flares.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Ulrich Straube, Thomas Berger, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Information provided courtesy of the Erasmus Experiment Archive.
Experiment Details

OpNom:

Principal Investigator(s)
Ulrich Straube, European Space Agency, Köln, Germany
Thomas Berger, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Köln, Germany

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
J. Aeckerlein, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Köln, Germany
K. Marsalek, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Köln, Germany
J. Rossler, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Köln, Germany
Günter Reitz, Ph.D., Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Köln, Germany
P. Beck, Seibersdorf Laboratories GmbH Forschungszentrum, Seibersdorf, Austria
M. Latocha, Seibersdorf Laboratories GmbH, Seibersdorf, Austria
Marlies Luszik-Bhadra, Physikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt, Braunschweig, Germany
M. Vuotila, Mirion Technologies RADOS Oy, Turku, Finland
E. Koivula, Mirion Technologies RADOS Oy, Turku, Finland
A. Jaksic, Tyndall National Institute, Cork, Ireland

Developer(s)
European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), Noordwijk, Netherlands

Sponsoring Space Agency
European Space Agency (ESA)

Sponsoring Organization
European Space Agency

Research Benefits
Information Pending

ISS Expedition Duration
March 2015 - September 2015; March 2016 - September 2017; September 2017 - February 2018

Expeditions Assigned
43/44,47/48,49/50,51/52,53/54

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • The challenges to human health and well-being in space are significant, increasing with mission length and work density. Radiation in space remains one of the inevitable and dominating factors relevant to crew health, safety, and mission success. The radiation environment that space crews are exposed to differs significantly compared to Earth. Exposure in flight exceeds doses that are usually received by terrestrial radiation workers on ground. Personal dosimetry of European astronauts is currently achieved through the use of different passive detectors, the evaluation of which is only possible after flight.
  • The European Crew Personal Active Dosimeter (EuCPAD) project tests an active (powered) dosimeter system, consisting of small portable units worn by the astronauts and a rack-mounted docking station. This is the first time that crews have worn active dosimeters in order to measure changes in radiation exposure over time providing variation of dose data with, for example, the 90-minute cycles of the ISS orbiting the Earth, ISS altitude and solar cycle, the ISS passing through the South Atlantic Anomaly, and the rare but highly relevant solar eruptions. When not in use by an astronaut, the hardware can also be used to monitor radiation levels at different points on the ISS with data transmission to Earth, possible in near-real time.

Description

Human presence in space has increased significantly over the last decade. Extended flights lasting half a year or more are becoming “standard” mission scenarios. The challenges to human health and well being though are still significant, increasing with mission length and work density. Radiation in space remains one of the inevitable and dominating factors relevant to crew- health, -safety and mission success. The radiation environment that the space crews are exposed to differs significantly as compared to Earth. Exposure in flight exceeds doses that are usually received by terrestrial radiation workers on ground.
 
The European Crew Personal Active Dosimeter (EuCPAD) presents an instrument to be used for the assessment of the radiation exposure of the European astronauts during their space activities.
 
It consists of three main parts:
  • Mobile Unit (MU) with:
    • Two silicon detector modules (thick and thin diode)
    • Absorbed dose detector module (Instadose and a RadFET)
  • Personal Storage Device (PSD) with:
    • Tissue equivalent Proportional Counter (TEPC)
    • Internal Mobile Unit (iMU)
    • Facility for storing/read-out/charging of the MU´s
    • Local data analysis software/user interface
    • Touchscreen and display of radiation data
  • Ground station Analysis Software (GAS)
    • Software to allow the calculation of dose equivalent based on the full set of available dose and spectroscopic data.
The MUs shall be worn by the European astronauts during the whole time of their stay in space. Each MU is battery driven and interfaces only the PSD. The MU needs to be recharged by insertion in the PSD (MU Reader Head). At the same time the data will be read out and stored in the PSD. The PSD has a power and data interface to Columbus and provides a touchscreen for astronaut interaction and data display. The GAS provides software to optimize the calculation of the dose equivalent taking into account the measurements of all detectors used within the EuCPAD system. This activity is done on ground, retrospectively and the result may serve as final exposure record.
 
Final goal is the verification of the system capabilities for medical monitoring at highest standards. It is the explicit intend of the European Crew Active Dosimetry Activity to launch a novel ESA dosimetry system to ISS that serves at the same time in dual function: as a scientific technology demonstrator in the frame of space radiation monitoring, analysis, and dosimetry, as well as medical operational applied science that introduces and validates a novel approach to personal dosimetry of ESA astronauts. This thereby enlarges the basis for improvements of a tailored radiation protection for the individual astronaut and the collective.
 
EuCPAD shall become a novel part of ESA Radiation Protection Initiative for astronauts.

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Applications

Space Applications
This technology could become a novel part of ESA’s radiation protection strategy for astronauts, broadening the spectrum and depth of current radiation exposure assessment and improving risk assessment. This could lead to improved/tailored radiation protection for individual astronauts or as a collective. More importantly it provides the means to make (quasi-) instant decisions based on the radiation environment at any moment in time. Furthermore, looking ahead to future exploration missions outside of low Earth orbit, this type of technology provides the only means to accurately monitor astronaut exposure during a mission and possibly make adaptations to protocols for radiation protection.

Earth Applications
This type of technology has application on Earth in the monitoring of personnel involved in areas where radiation can be a significant factor, such as in the nuclear power industry, or in high altitude professions. This technology could also find application for monitoring in areas on Earth with naturally high levels of background radiation.

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Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols

The main objectives of the EuCPAD hardware suite are:
  • To measure radiation field parameters such as particle fluence, absorbed dose, Linear Energy Transport (LET) spectra, and dose equivalent at a defined position within the European Columbus Laboratory over a wide timeframe.
  • To provide the first active personal dosimeter system for the European astronauts.
The EuCPAD hardware is able to focus on the following specific goals:
  • Measurement of the absorbed dose, LET spectra and dose equivalent at a fixed location inside Columbus applying the Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter (TEPC) mounted inside the Personal Storage Device (PSD) of the EuCPAD system.
  • Measurement of the absorbed dose, LET spectra and dose equivalent at a fixed location inside Columbus applying the internal Mobile Unit (iMU) mounted inside the Personal Storage Device (PSD) of the EuCPAD system.
  • In-flight cross calibration of the measurement of the absorbed dose, LET spectra and dose equivalent at a fixed location inside Columbus applying the data from the iMU and the TEPC, both mounted inside the Personal Storage Device (PSD) of the EuCPAD system.
  • Measurement of the absorbed dose, LET spectra and dose equivalent with the MUs, providing continues personal active dosimetry for the European astronauts.
  • Measurement of the absorbed dose, LET spectra and dose equivalent with the MUs, at a fixed location inside Columbus when the MUs are not used as “personal dosimeters”.
  • In-flight cross calibration of the measurement of the absorbed dose, LET spectra and dose equivalent at a fixed location inside Columbus applying the data from the iMU and the MU´s, both mounted inside the Personal Storage Device (PSD) of the EuCPAD system.
Technology Concept: EuCPAD in Columbus
The aim of the EuCPAD hardware is  to measure radiation field parameters such as absorbed dose, LET spectra and dose equivalent at a defined position within the European Columbus Laboratory over a wide time frame and on the other hand to provide the first active personal dosimeter system for the European astronauts.
 
All European astronauts are part of the initial experimental phase. However, all astro- and cosmonauts present at ISS can participate in the usage of the EuCPAD system based on agreements between the ISS partners.
 
The EuCPAD consists only of active radiation detectors. This means, that short-duration variations like the 90-minute cycles due to Earth orbiting, passages of the ISS through the SAA (South Atlantic Anomaly), the rare but highly relevant solar eruptions (SPE’s), directional changes of the incoming particles when the ISS temporarily changes its attitude, as well as temporary attenuation of radiation when vehicles dock to the ISS, can all be identified, time-tagged and quantified.
 
The active detectors are electrical instruments which - if no technical mishap occurs - can keep recording during many successive increments. Unlike passive detectors, there is no renewal required per increment. The active sensors deliver digital data which can be transmitted to Earth, if necessary in near-real time. Using active detectors, the actual radiation situation on board can immediately be assessed.
 
The measurement of the radiation field parameters at a fixed location inside Columbus is achieved by the radiation detectors embedded in the PSD, the TEPC and the iMU.
 
 Since the PSD is an active instrument with active radiation detectors inside the requirements, which will be later on further described are therefore:
  • Power connection via a dedicated power supply
  • Ethernet LAN connection for data download
The MUs act as an active personal dosimeter of the European astronauts. Therefore the MU has to be worn by a respective European astronaut during the whole stay on orbit.
 
Scenario 1: Mobile Unit within the Mobile Unit Reader Head of the PSD
The PSD and the MU Reader Head within the PSD has 5 slots for the MUs enabling data readout and charging of the MU batteries. As long as the Mobile Units are in the Reader Head, they are going to measure the radiation environment as - depersonalized detectors.
 
Scenario 2: Mobile Unit as Personal Active Dosimeter of an Astronaut
The main function of the MU is the personal dosimetry of the European astronauts. For this the astronaut takes a “personalized” MU from the MU Reader Head in the PSD and uses this for his personal active dosimeter. The battery of the MU has to be recharged after 7 days of usage by the astronaut. For this the astronaut has to insert his personalized MU in the Reader Head, data will be downloaded and another MU will be personalized for his further usage.
 
Desired experiment run time:
  • Full lifetime of the ISS
Minimum experiments run time:
  • 4 Increments
Desired number of subjects:
  • All European astronauts within the runtime of the EuCPAD project.
Minimum number of subjects:
  • 1 European astronaut
Ground reference experiment(s):
The hardware developed within the EuCPAD project is of course characterized for the relevant radiation field encountered inside the ISS. Irradiations to test the performance have and are done at relevant facilities as the NIRS-HIMAC, Japan for heavy ions, PTB, Braunschweig for neutrons. Space reference experiment(s): Due to the fact, that two different radiation detectors are installed within the PSD, and also the MU (if not used by an astronaut) is measuring inside the PSD this configuration enables “in-flight” cross calibration of the applied measurement suite.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites
ESA-Active-Dosimeters

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Imagery