Cell-shaped silicon-on-insulator microdosimeters: characterization and response to 239PuBe irradiations
Radiation in space generally produces higher dose rates than that on the Earth's surface, and contributions from primary galactic and solar events increase with altitude within the magnetosphere. Presently, no personnel monitor is available to astronauts for real-time monitoring of dose, radiation quality and regulatory risk. This group is developing a prototypic instrument for use in an unknown, time-varying radiation field. This microdosemeter-dosemeter nucleon instrument is for use in a spacesuit, spacecraft, remote rover and other applications. It provides absorbed dose, dose rate and dose equivalent in real time so that action can be taken to reduce exposure. Such a system has applications in health physics, anti-terrorism and radiation-hardening of electronics as well. The space system is described and results of ground-based studies are presented and compared with predictions of transport codes. An early prototype in 2007 was successfully launched, the only solid-state microdosemeter to have flown in space.