Date of Award

12-2011

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering Physics

Department

Physical Sciences

Committee Chair

Dr. Bereket Berhane

First Committee Member

Dr. John Olivera

Second Committee Member

Dr. Anthony Reynolds

Abstract

Spacecraft, space stations, satellites and astronauts are exposed to an increased level of radiation when in space, and it is important to evaluate the risks associated with extended radiation exposures in missions and space travel in general. The thesis focuses on the LEO radiation environment and how the particles in it interact with materials. Using existing empirical models, the exposed dosage due to the LEO space environment radiation sources, as a function of orbital altitude, orbital inclination and duration is studied. The physical processes that can result in failures and long term degradations of electronic devices due to solar radiation, high concentrations of electrons and protons trapped in the Van Allen radiation belts as well GCR and any secondary particles are examined. The impact on electronic components and systems onboard the spacecraft is evaluated.

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