Sato, T. and Niita, K. Analytical Functions to Predict Cosmic-Ray Neutron Spectra in the Atmosphere. Radiat. Res. 166, 544–555 (2006).
Estimation of cosmic-ray neutron spectra in the atmosphere has been an essential issue in the evaluation of the aircrew doses and the soft-error rates of semiconductor devices. We therefore performed Monte Carlo simulations for estimating neutron spectra using the PHITS code in adopting the nuclear data library JENDL-High-Energy file. Excellent agreements were observed between the calculated and measured spectra for a wide altitude range even at the ground level. Based on a comprehensive analysis of the simulation results, we propose analytical functions that can predict the cosmic-ray neutron spectra for any location in the atmosphere at altitudes below 20 km, considering the influences of local geometries such as ground and aircraft on the spectra. The accuracy of the analytical functions was well verified by various experimental data.