Passive Neutron Measurements: Some Early Mir/Space Shuttle Results



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45th International Conference on Environmental Systems


The origins of this paper date back to 1999 when a draft was prepared by the Authors, but was not published primarily due to the untimely death of Dr. Gautam Badhwar in 2001. In 2013 the Co-Author, Bill Atwell, resurrected the draft and added some additional neutron measurement data. There has been an increase interest in radiation exposures from neutrons not only due to the biological effects to flight crews, but also the effects to avionics systems. The neutron measurements reported herein extends from 1993-1997 that include measurements on both the Russian Mir space station and the US Space Shuttle. Neutron measurements were made using 1) nuclear emulsions, 2) metal foils, 3) TLD-600 and TLD-700 combination – thermal, 4) CR-39 electrochemical etching, 5) combination of TLD-600, TLD-700, CR-39, and Markofoil detectors, 6) Bonner spheres, and 7) bubble detectors. We present the results of these numerous neutron measurements along with several poignant conclusions including some recent neutron measurements taken on the Mars Science Laboratory.


Bellevue, Washington
William Atwell, Retired Boeing Technical Fellow, Boeing Research & Technology, USA
Gautam Badhwar, NASA Johnson Space Center, USA
The 45th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Bellevue, Washington, USA on 12 July 2015 through 16 July 2015.