Performances of Kevlar and Polyethylene as radiation shielding on-board the International Space Station in high latitude radiation environment
Livio Narici ; Marco Casolino ; Luca Di Fino ; et al. ; ASI Sponsor
May - 2017
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-01707-2

journal : Scientific Reports

Volume : 7 ; Issue : 1644
type: Article Journal

Passive radiation shielding is a mandatory element in the design of an integrated solution to mitigate the effects of radiation during long deep space voyages for human exploration. Understanding and exploiting the characteristics of materials suitable for radiation shielding in space flights is, therefore, of primary importance. We present here the results of the first space-test on Kevlar and Polyethylene radiation shielding capabilities including direct measurements of the background baseline (no shield). Measurements are performed on-board of the International Space Station (Columbus modulus) during the ALTEA-shield ESA sponsored program. For the first time the shielding capability of such materials has been tested in a radiation environment similar to the deep-space one, thanks to the feature of the ALTEA system, which allows to select only high latitude orbital tracts of the International Space Station. Polyethylene is widely used for radiation shielding in space and therefore it is an excellent benchmark material to be used in comparative investigations. In this work we show that Kevlar has radiation shielding performances comparable to the Polyethylene ones, reaching a dose rate reduction of 32 ± 2% and a dose equivalent rate reduction of 55 ± 4% (for a shield of 10 g/cm2).

keywords : Aerospace engineering, Applied physics

Notes : Acknowledgements The authors acknowledge the support from ESA (program ALTEA-shield) and from ASI, that made thedevelopment of the ALTEA detector possible (Contracts ALTEA, MoMa-ALTEA, ALTEA-support, ALTEAreentry)[...]