Badhwar, G.D. and Cucinotta, F.A. A Comparison of Depth Dependence of Dose and Linear Energy Transfer Spectra in Aluminum and Polyethylene.

A set of four tissue-equivalent proportional counters (TEPCs), with their detector heads at the centers of 0 (bare), 3, 7 and 9-inch-diameter aluminum spheres, were flown on Shuttle flight STS-89. Five such detectors at the centers of polyethylene spheres were flown 1 year earlier on STS-81. The results of dose–depth dependence for the two materials convincingly show the merits of using material rich in hydrogen to decrease the radiation exposure to the crew. A comparison of the calculated galactic cosmic radiation (GCR) absorbed dose and dose-equivalent rates using the radiation transport code HZETRN with nuclear fragmentation model NUCFRG2 and the measured GCR absorbed dose rates and dose-equivalent rates shows that they agree within root mean square (rms) error of 12.5 and 8.2%, respectively. However, there are significant depth-dependent differences in the linear energy transfer (LET) spectra. A comparison for trapped protons using the proton transport code BRYNTRN and the AP-8 MIN trapped-proton model shows a systematic bias, with the model underpredicting dose and dose-equivalent rates. These results show the need for improvements in the radiation transport and/or fragmentation models.

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