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accelerator-based studies of heavy ion interactions relevant to space biomedicineEvaluation of the effects of space radiation on the crews of long duration space missions must take into account the interactions of high energy atomic nuclei in spacecraft and planetary habitat shielding and in the bodies of the astronauts. These heavy ions (i.e. heavier than hydrogen), while relatively small in number compared to the total galactic cosmic ray (GCR) charged particle flux, can produce disproportionately large effects by virtue of their high local energy deposition: a single traversal by a heavy charged particle can kill or, what may be worse, severely damage a cell. Research into the pertinent physics and biology of heavy ion interactions has consequently been assigned a high priority in a recent report by a task group of the National Research Council. Fragmentation of the incident heavy ions in shielding or in the human body will modify an initially well known radiation field and thereby complicate both spacecraft shielding design and the evaluation of potential radiation hazards. Since it is impractical to empirically test the radiation transport properties of each possible shielding material and configuration, a great deal of effort is going into the development of models of charged particle fragmentation and transport. Accurate nuclear fragmentation cross sections (probabilities), either in the form of measurements with thin targets or theoretical calculations, are needed for input to the transport models, and fluence measurements (numbers of fragments produced by interactions in thick targets) are needed both to validate the models and to test specific shielding materials and designs. Fluence data are also needed to characterize the incident radiation field in accelerator radiobiology experiments. For a number of years, nuclear fragmentation measurements at GCR-like energies have been carried out at heavy ion accelerators including the LBL Bevalac, Saturne (France), the Synchrophasotron and Nuklotron (Dubna, Russia), SIS-18 (GSI, Germany), the Alternating Gradient Synchrotron at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL AGS) and the Heavy Ion Medical Accelerator (HIMAC) in Chiba, Japan. Until fairly recently most of these experiments were done to investigate fundamental problems in nuclear physics, but with the increasing interest in heavy charged particles on the part of the space flight, radiobiology and radiotherapy communities, an increasing number of experiments are being directed at these areas. Some of these measurements are discussed in references therein. Over the past several years, our group has taken cross section and fluence data at the AGS and HIMAC for several incident beams with nuclear charge, Z, between 6 and 26 at energies between 290 and 1050 MeV/nucleon. Iron (Z = 26) has been studied most extensively, since it is the heaviest ion present in significant numbers in the GCR. Targets have included tissue-equivalent and proposed shielding materials, as well as a variety of elemental targets for cross section measurements. Most of the data were taken along the beam axis, but measurements have been made off-axis, as well. Here we present selected data and briefly discuss some implications for spacecraft and planetary habitat design.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Miller, J.
(California Univ., Lawrence Berkeley Lab. Berkeley, CA United States)
Heilbronn, L.
(California Univ., Lawrence Berkeley Lab. Berkeley, CA United States)
Zeitlin, C.
(California Univ., Lawrence Berkeley Lab. Berkeley, CA United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1999
Publication Information
Publication: Proceedings of the First Biennial Space Biomedical Investigators' Workshop
Subject Category
Aerospace Medicine
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle20000020485Analytic PrimaryProceedings of the First Biennial Space Biomedical Investigators' Workshop
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