Community > Forum > Technology & Science > Radiation shielding etc.

Radiation shielding etc.

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Wed Dec 29, 2004 1:44 pm
Post new topic Reply to topic
 [ 27 posts ] 
Radiation shielding etc. 
Author Message
Moderator
Moderator
avatar
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 11:23 am
Posts: 3745
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Post Radiation shielding etc.   Posted on: Wed Dec 29, 2004 1:44 pm
According to the article "Nanotechnology: Scientists Pin Big Hopes on a Small Scale" ( www.space.com/businesstechnology/techno ... 41222.html ) nanocarbontubes can be sused very good for radiation protection and shielding.

The article says "... Astronaut health management: Space travelers on lengthy voyages could use nanotechnology to combat high-radiation environments, to fabricate medical monitors and healing devices, and to help reduce or overcome the stresses and strains stemming from long-term space treks.
The astronaut health management can come in a couple forms. One is to create the nanomaterials that are specifically tailored to thwart radiation penetration of the spacecraft. Then there is the nanotechnology sensors to better characterize the radiation levels. In addition, certain nanodrugs might be feasible to help counter radiation impacts on the physiology of the astronaut. ..."

And what chances may be provided by the following advantages? "... Nanomaterials: Carbon nanotube reinforced, lightweight materials could revolutionize vehicle design with their superior tensile strength and their ability to conduct heat and electricity.
Nanorobotics: The next stage in miniaturization may lead to molecule-sized actuators and motors, or microscopic robots to aid in studying cells and biological systems, as well as nanoparticles and fibers.
Microcraft: Tiny and highly capable vehicles could be developed for deep space probes, orbiters, planetary atmospheric entry probes or mobile surface explorers.
Nanosensors and Instrumentation: Tiny, wireless, fast, super sensitive and non-invasive sensors and instruments could be fitted with chemical, electronic or optical detectors for science missions, particularly for use in on-the-spot analysis and robotic operations.
Nano-micro-macro Integration: Nanotechnologies could be incorporated into systems useful on a more human scale, such as life support equipment and environmental monitoring systems. ..."

May private maaned spacecrafts get an additional significant push from all this? Does it remove obstacles to reach the orbit privately and help to win the ASP?



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


Back to top
Profile
Space Station Member
Space Station Member
User avatar
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2004 7:09 pm
Posts: 485
Location: Maastricht, The Netherlands
Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 29, 2004 2:41 pm
Nanotubes wont be commercially available before that time, so i dont think it will be payable if it even works by that time. Nanotechnology might have had big break-throughs, but its still a long way from implementing at a commercial level.


Back to top
Profile
Moderator
Moderator
avatar
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 11:23 am
Posts: 3745
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Post    Posted on: Thu Dec 30, 2004 7:46 am
According to the article nanocarbontubes can likely be in use in 10 to 15 years by NASA. "... a carbon nanotube-based X-ray defraction spectrometer ... should be ready for missions in 2009-2010, and we’re shooting for Mars exploration … to study the rocks and soil." Meyya Meyyappan, director of the Center for Nanotechnology at the NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., has been quoted.

This only is NASA - but the elevator:2010 competiton may assist the nanotubes to get into commercial use. People like Burt Rutan might become interested to use them within five years perhaps.

It will be interesting to watch how fast the development of this technology will continue.



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


Back to top
Profile
Moderator
Moderator
avatar
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 11:23 am
Posts: 3745
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Post    Posted on: Thu Jan 13, 2005 11:35 am
Read the article "Lunar Shields: Radiation Protection for Moon-Based Astronauts" ( www.space.com/businesstechnology/lunars ... 50112.html ) - it describes another shielding technology just being researched.

Weak negatively charged spheres ate the outer regions of the shield to deflect electrons and positively charged generator cluster in the center of the shield to deflect protons.

The lunar dust will be made use of as a secondary shield.

Please read the article - might that be a concept for vehicles too?

There is one problem not being researched yet - the amount of current required.



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)

EDIT: I don't want to go this thread off the nanocarbontube-topic but it's a shield technology too and perhaps the spheres or/and generators will be made of nanotubes.


Back to top
Profile
Space Station Member
Space Station Member
avatar
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 12:34 am
Posts: 450
Post    Posted on: Thu Mar 10, 2005 10:47 pm
Is this a “Phantom Problem”? I suspect it will be for explorers (not tourists). In case of a Solar Flare, get behind your stack of food and pray that its enough. Without the Flare, you’ve got bigger things to worry about. The low energy cosmic radiation is much higher in an airliner than either on the ground or in space. The really high energy radiation is not blocked by the Earth’s magnetic field, and thus has been experienced by all astronauts in space. Radiation sickness or an early cancer death has not been characteristic for astronauts. Future health hazards stop few athletes, and won’t stop those who really want to walk on Mars either.


Back to top
Profile WWW
Moon Mission Member
Moon Mission Member
avatar
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:56 am
Posts: 1104
Location: Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA
Post    Posted on: Thu Mar 10, 2005 11:08 pm
I hate to burst your bubble, rpspeck (not really, actually, but that's okay), but in order to avoid dying within minutes of being hit by a decent solar flare, you need to be cowering behind a wall of lead several inches thick. No matter how much food you have, it still won't be enough.

If you really want protection from flares and (even worse) the occaisonal CME, you need to use either heavy water (D2O) or something that can project a strong enough magnetic field to deflect the radiation. And that's one big magnet.

_________________
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering

In Memoriam...
Apollo I - Soyuz I - Soyuz XI - STS-51L - STS-107


Back to top
Profile
Spaceflight Participant
Spaceflight Participant
User avatar
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 11:43 pm
Posts: 97
Location: Canada
Post Re: Radiation shielding etc.   Posted on: Sat Mar 12, 2005 9:58 pm
the article wrote:
According to the article "Nanotechnology: Scientists Pin Big Hopes on a Small Scale" ...
The astronaut health management can come in a couple forms. One is to create the nanomaterials that are specifically tailored to thwart radiation penetration of the spacecraft.

Okay, so we might be able to shield electrons & protons. Alpha and Beta taken care of. This usually isn't that big of a concern, realistically, as outlined by others in this thread. If given the choice, however, I would always opt for the "less radiation" option.

The main concern is the high-energy gamma radiation. The earth's magnetic field does not deflect this - it is the atmosphere that stops a lot of this. So, on the ship you'd need large-mass shield (either an unrealistic atmosphere, or a thick lead-wall). I don't see, really, how nanomaterial will help this one at all. The problem remains that what is necessary to stop this type of radiation is sheer mass per unit of area exposed. If the mass can take up less volume, I suppose that would be nice, except that the same mass is still there to be hauled around.

Quote:
Then there is the nanotechnology sensors to better characterize the radiation levels.


This is needed? I suppose we can always go for smaller, lighter and more reliable instruments.

Quote:
In addition, certain nanodrugs might be feasible to help counter radiation impacts on the physiology of the astronaut. ..."


Okay, now this projection is much more ridiculous than most others that I've heard (including those predictions in books I read in school of what the year 2000 would look like - I'm still waiting for my hovering house with robot-maid and rocketship)

The (lasting) main problem with radiation is that it causes DNA mutations. The cell has many points at which it catches these mutations before it tries to replicate itself. The problem, however, occurs when a checkpoint has been affected itself by the radiation, and the mutation gets passed on to the daughter cells. The possibility of nanotechnology that could continuously scan all DNA in the body for any mutations and fix the concerned fragments/destroy the cell I find as incredibly out-of-touch with reality. If this is indeed possible, this won't happen in our, our children, or likely their children's lifetime.
Even in this hypothetical future, I'm not sure what would prevent the nanobots copies of the correct sequences from being affected by the incoming radiation themselves.


Space-travel will be dangerous, and this one will be one of the dangers. In comparison, however, it seems as if there are many other far more tangible dangers to be concerned about.

In the case of a big solar flare, then, well, .... people do get struck by lightning - that's just one of the dangers of being out in the open. The risk is there, and you don't have much of a chance when it happens. That's life.


Back to top
Profile
Moderator
Moderator
avatar
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 11:23 am
Posts: 3745
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Post    Posted on: Sun Mar 13, 2005 11:01 am
What about looking at it as a concept of layers of protection?

They may be imagining one system of layesr of radiation protection around the vehicle which would prevent most of radiation from getting to the crew memebers. Aremainder of radiation unpreventably will hurt the astrionauts. Now if the nanocarbontubes can bar a significant portion of radiation than those nanocarbons that are used to repair cells won't be hurt or destroyed as easyly as the cells of the humans. In that case they are still an improvement.

The system of layers around the vehicle might consist of nanocarbons not only - there may be included water, lead, artificial magnetosphere etc.



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


Back to top
Profile
Moon Mission Member
Moon Mission Member
User avatar
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2004 5:38 pm
Posts: 1361
Location: Austin, Texas
Post Re: Radiation shielding etc.   Posted on: Mon Mar 14, 2005 3:05 am
slycker wrote:
I'm still waiting for my hovering house with robot-maid and rocketship.
Me too!
But now I would be satisfied if we could just get back to the Moon.
Back in 1969 we all thought 2001 would be an amazing year. So far the most amazing year has been 1969!


Back to top
Profile WWW
Moon Mission Member
Moon Mission Member
avatar
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:56 am
Posts: 1104
Location: Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA
Post    Posted on: Mon Mar 14, 2005 1:29 pm
Unfortunately, campbelp, you're right. And that's the truly saddening and maddening part about the whole thing.

slycker: Alpha and Beta radiation aren't all that impressive: Alpha can be stopped by a sheet of paper, Beta by a sheet of aluminum foil. I might point out the advantages of circulating heavy water throughout the hull of the ship. It's far less massive than lead, and is highly effective. For an interplanetary vessel, you'd still need a flare-chamber, though.

_________________
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering

In Memoriam...
Apollo I - Soyuz I - Soyuz XI - STS-51L - STS-107


Back to top
Profile
Spaceflight Participant
Spaceflight Participant
User avatar
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 11:43 pm
Posts: 97
Location: Canada
Post    Posted on: Mon Mar 14, 2005 3:33 pm
I realize stopping alpha and beta is fairly easy, but I wasn't aware that relatively low masses of heavy-water was able to stop higher-energy radiation.


Back to top
Profile
Moon Mission Member
Moon Mission Member
User avatar
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2004 5:38 pm
Posts: 1361
Location: Austin, Texas
Post    Posted on: Mon Mar 14, 2005 4:45 pm
I seem to recall reading long ago that gamma radiation was not considered so dangerous exactly because it would penetrate so far. Most of it would pass through the space craft and astronauts without interacting at all. Additional shielding would only increase the probability that a gamma ray would interact with the shield and create a shower of secondary particles that WOULD be a health hazard. Also, the Sun does not emit much gamma radiation. CMEs (Coronal Mass Ejection) contain other dangerous stuff, especially neutrons, but not many gamma rays. And water is a good neutron absorber. That is why Bigelow and others are always talking about water blankets for shielding.


Back to top
Profile WWW
Spaceflight Participant
Spaceflight Participant
User avatar
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 11:43 pm
Posts: 97
Location: Canada
Post    Posted on: Mon Mar 14, 2005 10:23 pm
Ah, that does make much more sense. Thanks, Peter.


Back to top
Profile
Space Station Commander
Space Station Commander
User avatar
Joined: Sat May 22, 2004 8:59 am
Posts: 578
Location: Zurich
Post    Posted on: Tue Mar 15, 2005 8:42 am
For an appraisal of solar radiation dangers ...
http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/ask_astro/answers/980119b.html

Basically all of this stuff can be brought under the umbrella of ionizing radiation, which means that if it strikes a molecule (e.g. a piece of your DNA) it can smack off an electron and then potentially precipitate some pretty negative stuff happening (e.g. in the case of DNA - mutation, which can potentially lead to e.g. cancer). Fortunately any one such event has a tiny tiny little chance of being a Very Bad Thing. Unfortunately we experience a Very Large Number of these events during our lifetimes, enough to play a significant role in shortening our lives.

Now Peter's mention that gamma radiation is not considered dangerous (by spacefarers) is more because they represent a lesser danger than cosmic radiation. Apart from that gamma radiation IS dangerous because, like the other forms, it IS ionizing, in fact it is considered more dangerous than alpha or beta sources because of its penetrative nature. Read the link to see the explanation for the risk disparity between gamma and cosmic radiations.

DKH

P.S. for more info go HERE.

_________________
Per aspera ad astra


Back to top
Profile
Moderator
Moderator
avatar
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 11:23 am
Posts: 3745
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Post    Posted on: Sat Mar 19, 2005 5:25 pm
Here is a thread started because of an article about the effects of partical and UV radiation: www.xprizenews.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=854 .

The effects in discussion there may be not that dangerous - but they are indicating what effects radiation of energy BELOW gamma ray level has on astronauts. The impacts of gamma rays will be more severe I suppose.



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


Back to top
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 27 posts ] 
 

Who is online 

Users browsing this forum: kunchou and 15 guests


© 2014 The International Space Fellowship, developed by Gabitasoft Interactive. All Rights Reserved.  Privacy Policy | Terms of Use