Transport calculations and accelerator experiments needed for radiation risk assessment in space
Review article, 2008

The major uncertainties on space radiation risk estimates in humans are associated to the poor knowledge of the biological effects of low and high LET radiation, with a smaller contribution coming from the characterization of space radiation field and its primary interactions with the shielding and the human body. However, to decrease the uncertainties on the biological effects and increase the accuracy of the risk coefficients for charged particles radiation, the initial charged-particle spectra from the Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCRs) and the Solar Particle Events (SPEs), and the radiation transport through the shielding material of the space vehicle and the human body, must be better estimated. Since it is practically impossible to measure all primary and secondary particles from all possible position-projectile-target-energy combinations needed for a correct risk assessment in space, accurate particle and heavy ion transport codes must be used. These codes are also needed when estimating the risk for radiation induced failures in advanced microelectronics, such as single-event effects, etc., and the efficiency of different shielding materials. It is therefore important that the models and transport codes will be carefully benchmarked and validated to make sure they fulfill preset accuracy criteria, e.g. to be able to predict particle fluence, dose and energy distributions within a certain accuracy. When validating the accuracy of the transport codes, both space and ground based accelerator experiments are needed. The efficiency of passive shielding and protection of electronic devices should also be tested in accelerator experiments and compared to simulations using different transport codes. In this paper different multi-purpose particle and heavy ion transport codes will be presented, different concepts of shielding and protection discussed, as well as future accelerator experiments needed for testing and validating codes and shielding materials. © 2008.

galactic cosmic-rays

monte-carlo code

nuclear track detectors



iron ions






Lembit Sihver

Chalmers, Applied Physics, Nuclear Engineering

Zeitschrift für Medizinische Physik

0939-3889 (ISSN)

Vol. 18 4 253-264

Subject Categories

Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging



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