J. Space Weather Space Clim.
Volume 9, 2019
|Number of page(s)
|08 May 2019
Galactic Cosmic Ray induced absorbed dose rate in deep space – Accounting for detector size, shape, material, as well as for the solar modulation
IEAP, Kiel University, Christian-Albrechts-Platz 4, 24118 Kiel, Germany
2 School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 1 April 2019
Depending on the radiation field, the absorbed dose rate can depend significantly upon the size of the detectors or the phantom used in the models. In deep space (interplanetary medium) the radiation field is on avarage dominated by Galactic Cosmic Ray (GCR) nuclei. Here, the deep space dose rate that a typical small silicon slab detector measures is compared to a larger phantom corresponding to an ICRU sphere with a 15 cm radius composed of water. To separate and understand respective effects from the composition, size and shape differences in the detectors, this comparison is implemented in several steps. For each phantom, the absorbed dose rate due to GCR nuclei up to Z = 28, as a function of solar modulation conditions, is calculated.
The main components of the GCR flux are protons, followed by helium nuclei and electrons, with Z > 2 nuclei accounting for approximately 1% of the total number of particles. Among the light nuclei with Z > 2, most abundant ones are C, N and O. In this study, we use the GEANT4 model to calculate the absorbed dose (energy deposited as ionization, divided by mass) due to the GCR flux provided by the Badhwar-O’Neill 2010 (BON-10) model. Furthermore, we investigate how the determined absorbed dose rate changes throughout the solar cycle by varying the GCR models from solar minimum to solar maximum conditions. The developed model is validated against the Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) microdosimeter measurements. In our current approach, we do not consider the effects of shielding, which will always be present under realistic scenarios.
A second goal of this study is to quantify the contribution of each Z = 1, …, 28 GCR nuclei to absorbed dose rate, in relation to the phantom characteristics. For each Z we determine the most relevant energy range in the GCR spectra for absorbed dose rate estimations. Furthermore, we calculate a solar modulation dependent conversion factor to convert absorbed dose rate measured in silicon to absorbed dose rate in water. This information will improve our understanding of the radiation environment due to GCR in the near-Earth deep space and also benefit further modeling efforts by limiting the number and energy range of primary particle species that have to be considered.
Key words: absorbed dose rate / radiation environment / cosmic ray / dosimetry / deep space
© S. Banjac et al., Published by EDP Sciences 2019
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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