Dose estimation in space using the Particle and Heavy-Ion Transport code System (PHITS)
The radiation risks in space are well known, but work still needs to be done in order to fully understand the radiation effects on humans and how to minimize the risks especially now when the activity in space is increasing with plans for missions to the Moon and Mars.
One goal is to develop transport codes that can estimate the radiation environment and its effects. These would be useful tools for reducing the radiation effects when designing and planning space missions.
The Particle and Heavy-Ion Transport code System, PHITS, is a three dimensional Monte Carlo code with great possibilities to perform radiation transport calculations and estimating radiation exposure such as absorbed dose, equivalent dose and dose equivalent. Therefore a benchmarking with experiments performed at the ISS was done and also an estimation of different material’s influences on the shielding was made.
The simulated results already agree reasonable with the measurements, but can most likely be significantly improved when more realistic shielding geometries will be used. This indicats that PHITS is a useful tool for estimating radiation risks for humans in space and when designing shielding of spacecrafts.