Area Passive Dosimeter for Life-Science Experiments in Space (Area PADLES) - 01.10.18

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

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
JAXA Area Passive Dosimeter for Life-Science Experiments in Space (Area PADLES) is an investigation that uses area dosimeters to continuously monitor the radiation dose aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Radiation exposure can have significant biological effects on living organisms including the biological investigations being done on ISS in the Japanese Experiment Module, Kibo. By installing area dosimeters at 17 fixed locations inside the Kibo Module, continuous area radiation monitoring can be provided throughout the ISS Kibo program.
Science Results for Everyone
Measuring radiation in space is essential to protecting crewmembers, and is also used for developing monitors and shielding for future space vehicles. This investigation used 17 dosimeters placed on the space station to continuously monitor radiation exposure. Data showed that the particle fluxes vary by more than two factors, depending on dosimeter installation orientation. Researchers used the dosimeters to ground-test shielding effect with heavy-ion particles and to monitor area radiation from high energy accelerators. Results will support planning of life sciences experiments on the station and estimation of the shielding effects of various wall thicknesses for future spacecraft.

The following content was provided by Aiko Nagamatsu, Ph.D., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Information provided courtesy of the Japan Aerospace and Exploration Agency (JAXA).
Experiment Details

OpNom: Area Dosimeter

Principal Investigator(s)
Tsuyoshi Ito, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Tsukuba, Japan
Aiko Nagamatsu, Ph.D., Japan Aerospace and Exploration Agency, Tsukuba, Japan

Hiroko Tawara, High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK), Tsukuba, Japan
Keiichi Kitajo, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Japan
Raisa V. Tolochek, Institute for Biomedical Problems, Moscow, Russia
I V. Nikolaev, S. P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, Russia
Ken Shimada, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Japan
Vladislav P. Petrov, Institute for Biomedical Problems, Moscow, Russia
Vyacheslav A. Shurshakov, Institute of Biomedical Problems, Moscow, Russia

Tsukuba Space Center, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan

Sponsoring Space Agency
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

Sponsoring Organization
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

Research Benefits
Information Pending

ISS Expedition Duration
April 2008 - March 2016; March 2016 - February 2018; -

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
From Increment 17, five experiments using the PADLES system started in 2008: area radiation monitoring in Kibo (Area PADLES); dose measurements of biological samples exposed to space radiation (Bio PADLES); personal radiation dosimetry for Asian astronauts (Crew PADLES); various kinds of international cooperative experiments with ISS partners, such as the Matroshka project conducted by the German Aerospace Center in Cologne, and the ALTCRISS project conducted by the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (Dosimetric PADLES); and measurement of the directional dependence of radiation doses inside the Kibo module (Exp PADLES). Past Area PADLES schedule are shown as follows: Area PADLES #1: Jun 1 2008 to Mar 29 2009 over Increment 17-18, Area PADLES #2: Mar 16 2008 to Sep 12 2009 over Increment 18-19, Area PADLES #3: Aug 29 2009 to Apr 18 2010 over Increment 19-22, Area PADLES #4: Apr 5 2010 Aug 29 2009 to Mar 9 2011 over Increment 23-26, Area PADLES #5: Apr 5 2011 Aug 29 2009 to May 22 2011 over Increment 26-27, Area PADLES #6: June to Nobember 2011 over Increment 28-29 (Planed), Area PADLES #7: December 2011 to May 2012 over Increment 30-31 (Planed), Area PADLES #8: June to Nobemver 2012 over Increment 32-33 (Planned). Area PADLES #9: September 2012 to March 2013 over increment 33-34. Area PADLES #10: Mar 2013 to Sep 2013 over Increment 35-36. As part of international cooperative research, Matroshka 2B_Kibo (May 2010; Mar. 2011 -ttp:// and Matroshka- R Sperical (May 2012 - experiment are conducted onboard the Kibo. (Rev.E-Inc.43/44)

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • Crew personal monitoring and area monitoring in the fixed locations must be needed to ISS crews who are equivalent of radiation workers. The knowledge of the continuous radiation environment in ISS is a mandatory step toward a radiation risk assessment, needed for the planning of future manned space missions. 

  • Each space agencys having ISS module are obligated to mesuare and monitor radiation enviroment, on the report of NCRP142's advice. This report is defined Operational Radiation Safety Program for Astronauts in Low-Earth Orbit: A Basic Framework by The National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements and Medical Operations Requirements Document (MORD) for Space Shuttle,  Rev G Section 4.5– Radiation Safety. Also, are obtained data shared for dose management of ISS crew exposure by joint agreement 'The Sharing of Radiation Measurement Data from the Internal Space Station' with SRAG/NASA, IBMP/RSS, JAXA, ESA and CSA on 2005 or international cooperative radiation research activities.

  • The dosimetric results obtained by area dosimeters are published in JAXA’s PADLES database ( and are utilized to support the planning of life-science experiments in Kibo and astronauts’ flights, as well as to modify simulation codes of space-radiation models for future manned space activities beyond the earth. 


JAXA Area PADLES dosimeter consists of seventeen area dosimeters and the pieces of Velcro, each of which is labeled with the deployment location on the wall inside the JPM and JLP.
They are fixed to Kibo walls with tape and the tether of their casing holder. The Area PADLES holder size is 4.6 cm(w) , 4.6 cm(l) , 9 cm(t) and the weight is 24g. These are assembled and analyzed by the PADLES Group on JAXA TKSC. In the PADLES system, the CR-39 PNTDs measure space-radiation fluence as a function of LET in a LET range above 10keV/um, while the TLDs measure absorbed doses of low LET radiation (less than 10keV/um). These data can be read only after they return to Earth. A series of programs named AUTO PADLES was also developed for the rapid and systematic analysis of the PADLES dosimeters. The package preparation and method for calculating the total absorbed dose, dose equivalent, and mean quality factor over an entire LET range were described in previous papers listed in Section Publications.

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Space Applications
Area PADLES provides information about the space radiation environment that ISS operates, and specifically the Kibo module,  during the variation of solar activity. Full understanding of space radiation, and the doses surrounding crewmembers, is essential to dose management and space radiation protection.Accumulated data and knowledge are beneficial to design new active and passive types of radiation monitoring and shielding design of spacecraft in the future.

Earth Applications
The dosimetry technique is already used for dose management of radiation workers in high energy accelelators. The high-speed microscope scanning image techniques are used in the diagnosis of cancer cells.

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Operational Requirements and Protocols

Mentioned above article about Unique investigation constraints. Since dosimeters can be analyzed in a terrestrial laboratory (JAXA TKSC), so dosimeters return must be needed. No observation and downlink aren't needed during measurement.

Two tasks are needed, Area PADLES Installation and Removal.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Radiation monitoring system was flown aboard Soyuz spacecraft, installed in the Kibo module aboard the ISS with Area and Exp PADLES dosimeters and collected data. Results from returned dosimeters found that the particle fluxes change more than twice depending on the installation orientation, since space radiation environment in low-Earth orbit aren't isotropic.

The dosimetric results obtained by area dosimeters are published in JAXA’s PADLES database and utilized to support the planning of Life Science experiments in Kibo and astronauts’ flights, as well as to estimate the shielding effects of the JPM wall thickness or modify Japanese radiation simulation codes, and will be based on the next future human spaceflight.

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Results Publications

    Nagamatsu A, Murakami K, Yokota A, Yamazaki J, Yamauchi M, Kitajo K, Kumagai H, Tawara H.  Space radiation damage to HDTV camera CCDs onboard the international space station. Radiation Measurements. 2011 February; 46(2): 205-212. DOI: 10.1016/j.radmeas.2010.11.016.

    Nagamatsu A, Murakami K, Kitajo K, Shimada K, Kumagai H, Tawara H.  Area radiation monitoring on ISS Increments 17 to 22 using PADLES in the Japanese Experiment Module Kibo. Radiation Measurements. 2013 June; epub. DOI: 10.1016/j.radmeas.2013.05.008.

    Tawara H, Masukawa M, Nagamatsu A, Kitajo K, Kumagai H, Yasuda N.  Characteristics of Mg2SiO4:Tb (TLD-MSO-S) relevant for space radiation dosimetry. Radiation Measurements. 2011 August; 46(8): 709-716. DOI: 10.1016/j.radmeas.2011.05.058.

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Ground Based Results Publications

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ISS Patents

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Related Publications

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Related Websites

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image NASA Image: ISS028E007155 - Expedition 28 Flight Engineer Satoshi Furukawa posing for a photo with Matroshka-R PADLES (Passive Dosimeter for Lifescience Experiment in Space) Area Dosimeters int the Service Module (SM).
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image NASA Image: ISS037E029543 - Russian cosmonaut Sergey N. Ryazansky handing over the PADLES detector kit to US astronaut Karen L. Nyberg in the Node 1 Unity module.
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image NASA Image: ISS041E037514 - Russian cosmonaut Elena Serova poses for a photo near a hatch in the Russian segment of the International Space Station.
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Soyuz Transfer bag for Area PADLES in Kibo. Image courtesy of JAXA.

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Example picture of Area PADLES set up onboard the Kibo during Increment 29/30. Image courtesy of JAXA.

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Example picture of Area PADLES set up onboard the Kibo during Increment 29/30. Image courtesy of JAXA.

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