Description, analysis and impact of major solar activity during recent U.S. shuttle missions

  • Golightly M
  • Hardy A
  • Atwell W
 et al. 
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Abstract

Since STS-26, three large solar events have occurred during Shuttle missions; a geomagnetic storm during STS-29 and solar particle events (SPEs) during STS-28 and -34. The maximum dose to a crew attributed to an SPE was estimated to be 30 μGy (70 μSv). Time-resolved dosimetry measurements of the SPE dose during STS-28 were made using the Air Force Radiation Monitoring Equipment (RME)-III. Comparison of calculated and measured dose demonstrated a discrepancy, possibly a result of deficiencies in the geomagnetic cutoff model used. This experience demonstrates that dose from an SPE is strongly dependent on numerous factors such as orbit inclination, SPE start time, spectral parameters and geomagnetic field conditions; the exact combination of these factors is fortuitous. New sources of data and procedures are being investigated, including real-time tracking of auroral oval positions or determination of particle cutoff latitudes, for incorporation into operational Shuttle radiation support practices. © 1991.

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Authors

  • M. J. Golightly

  • A. C. Hardy

  • W. Atwell

  • K. Hardy

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