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Measurements of the neutron spectrum in transit to Mars on the Mars Science Laboratory

Köhler, J. and Ehresmann, B. and Zeitlin, C. and Wimmer-Schweingruber, R.F. and Hassler, D.M. and Reitz, G. and Brinza, D.E. and Appel, J. and Böttcher, S. and Böhm, E. and Burmeister, S. and Guo, J. and Lohf, H. and Martin, C. and Posner, A. and Rafkin, S. (2015) Measurements of the neutron spectrum in transit to Mars on the Mars Science Laboratory. Life Sciences in Space Research, 5, pp. 6-12. Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/J.lssr.2015.03.001. ISSN 2214-5524.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/J.lssr.2015.03.001

Abstract

The Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft, containing the Curiosity rover, was launched to Mars on 26 November 2011. Although designed for measuring the radiation on the surface of Mars, the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) measured the radiation environment inside the spacecraft during most of the 253-day, 560-million-kilometer cruise to Mars. An important factor for determining the biological impact of the radiation environment inside the spacecraft is the specific contribution of neutrons with their high biological effectiveness. We apply an inversion method (based on a maximum-likelihood estimation) to calculate the neutron and gamma spectra from the RAD neutral particle measurements. The measured neutron spectrum (12–436 MeV) translates into a radiation dose rate of 3.8±1.2 μGy/day3.8±1.2 μGy/day and a dose equivalent of 19±5 μSv/day19±5 μSv/day. Extrapolating the measured spectrum (0.1–1000 MeV), we find that the total neutron-induced dose rate is 6±2 μGy/day6±2 μGy/day and the dose equivalent rate is 30±10 μSv/day30±10 μSv/day. For a 360 day round-trip from Earth to Mars with comparable shielding, this translates into a neutron induced dose equivalent of about 11±411±4 mSv.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/99579/
Document Type:Article
Title:Measurements of the neutron spectrum in transit to Mars on the Mars Science Laboratory
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Köhler, J.Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics, Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Ehresmann, B.Southwest Research Institute, Space Science and Engineering Division, Boulder, USAUNSPECIFIED
Zeitlin, C.Southwest Research Institute, Earth, Oceans & Space Department, Durham, NH, USAUNSPECIFIED
Wimmer-Schweingruber, R.F.Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics, Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Hassler, D.M.Southwest Research Institute, Space Science and Engineering Division, Boulder, USAUNSPECIFIED
Reitz, G.Aerospace Medicine, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Köln, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Brinza, D.E.Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USAUNSPECIFIED
Appel, J.Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics, Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Böttcher, S.Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics, Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Böhm, E.Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics, Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Burmeister, S.Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics, Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Guo, J.Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics, Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Lohf, H.Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics, Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Martin, C.Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics, Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Posner, A.NASA Headquarters, Science Mission Directorate, Washington DC, USAUNSPECIFIED
Rafkin, S.Southwest Research Institute, Space Science and Engineering Division, Boulder, USAUNSPECIFIED
Date:2015
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:5
DOI :10.1016/J.lssr.2015.03.001
Page Range:pp. 6-12
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:2214-5524
Status:Published
Keywords:Space radiation; Mars mission; Neutron dose rate; Neutron spectrum
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Space Exploration
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben MSL-Radiation (old)
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Deposited By: Kopp, Kerstin
Deposited On:26 Nov 2015 15:28
Last Modified:10 May 2016 23:34

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