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Charged particle spectra measured during the transit to Mars with the Mars Science Laboratory Radiation Assessment Detector (MSL/RAD)

Ehresmann, Bent and Hassler, Donald M. and Zeitlin, Cary and Guo, Jingnan and Köhler, Jan and Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert F. and Appel, Jan K. and Brinza, David E. and Rafkin, Scot C.R. and Böttcher, Stephan I. and Burmeister, Sönke and Lohf, Henning and Martin, Cesar and Böhm, Eckart and Matthiä, Daniel and Reitz, Günther (2016) Charged particle spectra measured during the transit to Mars with the Mars Science Laboratory Radiation Assessment Detector (MSL/RAD). Life Sciences in Space Research, 10, pp. 29-37. Elsevier. DOI: 10.1016/j.lssr.2016.07.001 ISSN 2214-5524

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lssr.2016.07.001

Abstract

The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) started its 253-day cruise to Mars on November 26, 2011. During cruise the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD), situated on board the Curiosity rover, conducted mea- surements of the energetic-particle radiation environment inside the spacecraft. This environment con- sists mainly of galactic cosmic rays (GCRs), as well as secondary particles created by interactions of these GCRs with the spacecraft. The RAD measurements can serve as a proxy for the radiation environment a human crew would encounter during a transit to Mars, for a given part of the solar cycle, assuming that a crewed vehicle would have comparable shielding. The measurements of radiological quantities made by RAD are important in themselves, and, the same data set allow for detailed analysis of GCR-induced particle spectra inside the spacecraft. This provides important inputs for the evaluation of current trans- port models used to model the free-space (and spacecraft) radiation environment for different spacecraft shielding and different times in the solar cycle. Changes in these conditions can lead to significantly different radiation fields and, thus, potential health risks, emphasizing the need for validated transport codes. Here, we present the first measurements of charged particle fluxes inside a spacecraft during the transit from Earth to Mars. Using data obtained during the last two month of the cruise to Mars (June 11–July 14, 2012), we have derived detailed energy spectra for low-Z particles stopping in the instru- ment’s detectors, as well as integral fluxes for penetrating particles with higher energies. Furthermore, we analyze the temporal changes in measured proton fluxes during quiet solar periods (i.e., when no so- lar energetic particle events occurred) over the duration of the transit (December 9, 2011–July 14, 2012) and correlate them with changing heliospheric conditions.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/105422/
Document Type:Article
Title:Charged particle spectra measured during the transit to Mars with the Mars Science Laboratory Radiation Assessment Detector (MSL/RAD)
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Ehresmann, BentSouthwest Research Institute, Space Science and Engineering Division, 1050 Walnut Street, Suite 300, Boulder, CO, USAUNSPECIFIED
Hassler, Donald M.Southwest Research Institute, Space Science and Engineering Division, 1050 Walnut Street, Suite 300, Boulder, CO, USAUNSPECIFIED
Zeitlin, CarySouthwest Research Institute, Earth, Oceans, & Space Department, Durham, NH, USAUNSPECIFIED
Guo, JingnanChristian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Kiel, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Köhler, JanChristian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Kiel, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert F.Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Kiel, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Appel, Jan K.Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Kiel, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Brinza, David E.Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USAUNSPECIFIED
Rafkin, Scot C.R.Southwest Research Institute, Space Science and Engineering Division, 1050 Walnut Street, Suite 300, Boulder, CO, USAUNSPECIFIED
Böttcher, Stephan I.Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Kiel, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Burmeister, SönkeChristian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Kiel, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Lohf, HenningChristian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Kiel, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Martin, CesarChristian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Kiel, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Böhm, EckartChristian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Kiel, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Matthiä, DanielDeutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Cologne, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Reitz, GüntherDeutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Cologne, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Date:2016
Journal or Publication Title:Life Sciences in Space Research
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:No
Volume:10
DOI :10.1016/j.lssr.2016.07.001
Page Range:pp. 29-37
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:2214-5524
Status:Published
Keywords:RAD, MSL, Radiation, GCR, Transit Earth-Mars
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Science and Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben MSL-Radiation, R - Vorhaben Strahlenbiologie
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Deposited By: Kopp, Kerstin
Deposited On:03 Aug 2016 14:30
Last Modified:03 Aug 2016 14:30

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