The determination of the neutron component of cosmic radiation fields in spacecraft

D. T. Bartlett*, Luke Hager, Richard Tanner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Poly allyl diglycol carbonate (PADC or CR-39®) etched track detectors may be used to estimate the neutron component of the cosmic radiation in spacecraft using simple techniques developed for neutron personal dosimetry. Electrochemically etched pits are identified and counted using fully automated read-out procedures. The neutron component of the radiation field at the location of the dosimeter will produce electrochemically etchable tracks, as will the proton and energetic heavy charged particle components, depending on particle type, energy and angle of incidence. The response to incident charged particles which produce tracks and are counted as if produced by a neutron, will lead to an over-estimate of the neutron component. A correction can be applied to take account of this, or an additional chemical etch carried out which allows discrimination. Recent results for exposures in low-Earth orbit are reported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-443
Number of pages5
JournalRadiation Measurements
Issue number1-6 SPEC.
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Irradiations carried out at the Svedberg Laboratory (TSL) were supported under the European Commission Research Infrastructure programme and those at the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) and at the Université Catholique Louvain (UCL) were funded by the European Commission RTD Programme: Nuclear Energy, Euratom Framework Programme V, 1998–2002, Contract No. FIGM-CT-2000-00068.


  • Cosmic radiation
  • Neutrons
  • PADC
  • Spacecraft


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