NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER:05 X11.01-8848
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Radiation Health
PROPOSAL TITLE:A Novel Space Radiation Dosimetry System for Manned Exploration Missions

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Landauer, Inc.
2 Science Road
Glenwood ,IL 60425 - 1586
(708) 755 - 7000

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mark S Akselrod
723 1/2 Eastgate
Stillwater, OK  60425 -1586
(405) 377 - 5161

A novel radiation dosimetry system is proposed for manned exploration spaceflight and ground-based measurements of space radiation, including HZE particles, high energy protons, neutrons, -rays and electrons. The system consists of small, rugged passive integrating detectors without batteries and a compact reader. The significance of the proposed technology to NASA is that it will overcome major limitations of the current instrumentation which makes it unsuitable for long duration missions to the Moon and Mars. The innovation is the use of a new concept of Fluorescent Nuclear Track Detector (FNTD) sensitive to high-LET charged particles. The detector is made of novel single crystals of aluminum oxide doped with carbon and magnesium (Al2O3:C,Mg). A completely optical readout technique is based on well proven principals of fluorescent confocal microscopy. The same detector is also used as an Optically Stimulated Luminescence Detector (OSLD) sensitive to low-LET radiation. A reliable "3-in-1" instrument-reader will operate in track-measurement mode for FNTD, low-LET mode for OSLD, and reset/anneal mode. The dosimeter will measure absorbed dose and dose equivalent from all significant types of space radiation and can be easily reset for reuse during spaceflight. FNTD is able to withstand vacuum and temperature cycling from -200 to 600 ?C.

The proposed radiation dosimetry system will satisfy NASA's need for space crew personal dosimetry during long duration exploration missions. The fluorescent detectors are small and multiple detectors could be worn by crew members at different locations on the body and could also be used for dosimetric mapping of the spacecraft. The detectors can be read out and erased at any time such that they could be exposed during EVA or readout immediately following a larger Solar Particle Event. For unmanned space missions, the onboard reader could be adapted for use in a fully autonomous mode. Al2O3:C,Mg detectors could have applications in radiobiology research in heavy ion experiments at the Brookhaven NSRL facility or HIMAC as a highly stable, inert substrate/detector for culture cells with ability to trace individual particle trajectories. New concepts in microdosimetry can be tested using needle-shape implantable detectors. Detectors and a reader can also be used in place of CR-39 PNTD and TLD in the ground-based investigations of the radiation shielding materials at heavy ion accelerators.

Landauer anticipates a significant demand for portable instruments capable of measuring absorbed dose and dose equivalent using a combination of FNTD and OSLD modalities. Dosimetry of fast neutrons remains a significant challenge in personnel monitoring at nuclear power, fuel processing, and waste facilities, around high energy particle accelerators, etc Hospitals that use high energy linear accelerators for radiation treatment experience problems with dosimetry of uncontrollable amount of photo-neutrons produced by linacs. Universities and National Laboratories need new instruments for radiobiology research funded by NIH and NSF. Landauer also anticipates using the instrument internally for its dosimetry service.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Optical & Photonic Materials
Particle and Fields
Portable Data Acquisition or Analysis Tools

Form Printed on 09-19-05 13:12