A Dosimetric Evaluation of MiniPIX Performance Using In-situ and Simulated Environments



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Space weather is becoming increasingly relevant as human activity in space and around grows. Primary contributors to this space radiation are galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) which continue to mystify scientists with their high energies and unknown origins. Despite the unknowns, active monitoring of the radiation environment beyond the Earth’s surface is important for the safety of commercial airlines and astronauts. This thesis examines the use of a MiniPIX camera as a relatively low-cost, portable radiation dosimeter used on-board high altitude balloon flights under the High Altitude Student Platform (HASP). The MiniPIX was housed within a miniature container designed to replicate the structure of the International Space Station (ISS). The goal of this construction is to model a complex and exotic environment, such as the ISS, using a simplified representation in attempt to reduce the high dependence of simulations for monitoring the dose received by human on commercial flights or in space by generalizing this methodology to other applications. Its performance is compared to simulations executed by the FLUKA transport code which strive to replicate the atmospheric environment and GCR sources during the HASP missions. The use of the simulations in this context is to validate the configuration flown on the balloon. The results from the simulations are not directly comparable to those from the balloon, but characteristic features within the simulated data are present. Lastly, results from experiments and simulations performed by others are examined and compared to the results from the HASP mission and the simulations performed in this study.