J. Space Weather Space Clim.
Volume 4, 2014
|Number of page(s)||16|
|Published online||04 June 2014|
The magnitude and effects of extreme solar particle events
European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), Space Environment and Effects Section Keperlaan 1, 2200AG
Noordwijk, The Netherlands
* Corresponding author: e-mail: email@example.com
Accepted: 28 April 2014
The solar energetic particle (SEP) radiation environment is an important consideration for spacecraft design, spacecraft mission planning and human spaceflight. Herein is presented an investigation into the likely severity of effects of a very large Solar Particle Event (SPE) on technology and humans in space. Fluences for SPEs derived using statistical models are compared to historical SPEs to verify their appropriateness for use in the analysis which follows. By combining environment tools with tools to model effects behind varying layers of spacecraft shielding it is possible to predict what impact a large SPE would be likely to have on a spacecraft in Near-Earth interplanetary space or geostationary Earth orbit. Also presented is a comparison of results generated using the traditional method of inputting the environment spectra, determined using a statistical model, into effects tools and a new method developed as part of the ESA SEPEM Project allowing for the creation of an effect time series on which statistics, previously applied to the flux data, can be run directly. The SPE environment spectra is determined and presented as energy integrated proton fluence (cm−2) as a function of particle energy (in MeV). This is input into the SHIELDOSE-2, MULASSIS, NIEL, GRAS and SEU effects tools to provide the output results. In the case of the new method for analysis, the flux time series is fed directly into the MULASSIS and GEMAT tools integrated into the SEPEM system. The output effect quantities include total ionising dose (in rads), non-ionising energy loss (MeV g−1), single event upsets (upsets/bit) and the dose in humans compared to established limits for stochastic (or cancer-causing) effects and tissue reactions (such as acute radiation sickness) in humans given in grey-equivalent and sieverts respectively.
Key words: SEP / radiation / human spaceflight / Carrington event / extreme events
© P. Jiggens et al., Published by EDP Sciences 2014
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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