Comparisons of Planetary Space Radiation Environments and Effects -- A Review

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H. B. Garrett et al. (2010), JBIS, 63, pp.363-370

Refcode: 2010.63.363
Keywords: Radiation Environment, Jupiter, Earth

In addition to the nuclear-induced radiation environments intrinsic to radioactive power sources, the in-situ natural radiation environment itself poses a potential threat to the practical utilization of these systems for spacecraft missions. These environments range from the ubiquitous Galactic Cosmic Ray background to trapped radiation belts, Solar Energetic Particle Events, and secondary particle emissions from planetary surfaces. These environments in turn can negatively impact control electronics, material properties, and sensor/monitor backgrounds. This paper will review and compare the most severe of the natural radiation environments relevant to nuclear spacecraft power systems, their impacts, and common methods for mitigating the worst of their effects. The objective of the review will be to provide spacecraft designers and engineers with tools for the preliminary assessment and mitigation of the common radiation concerns to be expected by missions utilizing radioactive power sources.

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