In order to help assess the risk to astronauts due to the long-term exposure to the natural radiation environment in space, an understanding of how the primary radiation field is changed when passing through shielding and tissue materials must be obtained. One important aspect of the change in the primary radiation field after passing through shielding materials is the production of secondary particles from the breakup of the primary. Neutrons are an important component of the secondary particle field due to their relatively high biological weighting factors, and due to their relative abundance, especially behind thick shielding scenarios. Because of the complexity of the problem, the estimation of the risk from exposure to the secondary neutron field must be handled using calculational techniques. However, those calculations will need an extensive set of neutron cross section and thick-target neutron yield data in order to make an accurate assessment of the risk. In this paper we briefly survey the existing neutron-production data sets that are applicable to the space radiation transport problem, and we point out how neutron production from protons is different than neutron production from heavy ions. We also make comparisons of one the heavy-ion data sets with Boltzmann-Uehling-Uhlenbeck (BUU) calculations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aerospace Engineering