Hungarian Academy of Sciences KFKI Atomic Energy Research Institute
1121 Budapest, Konkoly Thege Miklós út 29-33., Hungary * Letters: H-1525 Budapest 114, P.O.B. 49. * Tel: +36 1 392 2222 *

ISS Dosimetry

Measurement of personal dose due to ionizing cosmic radiation during space flights is mainly based on thermoluminescent technique. Our institute has developed and manufactured a series of portable TLD systems for spacecraft in the last two decades. The dosemeters are regularly read out and the measured values and a number of parameters are stored in the memory card of the microprocessor controlled reader. The reader itself identificates the dosemeters, performs fast data evaluation; the results and parameters are displayed on the screen of the reader. A computer program for an on-board PC serving as a user interface enables detailed analysis of the stored data and integrating them in the data base. The PC can communicate with the reader via an RS-232 serial connection and download data to Earth through the telemetry system of the spacecraft.

The development of a new implementation of the system for the International Space Station (ISS) as the contribution of Hungary to the great international enterprise started in 1997.

The version of the system used on the US segment of the ISS ("Pille'97") had been verificated by NASA and was launched on March 8, 2001 by the Space Shuttle Discovery. From April to August, more than 1700 successful measurements were carried out by the Pille within the frame of the DOSMAP experiment of the European Space Agency (ESA). The objective of DOSMAP was to investigate the distribution of the radiation field inside the ISS by dosemeters, placed throughout the spacecraft at different shielding locations.

The Pille system to be used on the Russian segment of the ISS („Pille-MKSz”) will be applicable for the routine and EVA individual dosimetry of astronauts/cosmonauts as part of the ISS service system. A special communication interface established on the Russian segment has been added to the Pille system. After all components having verificated and tested by the space company Energiya, the system was launched on August 29, 2003 onboard the Progress-M48 (designated Progress-12 by NASA) cargo spacecraft atop a Soyuz-FG rocket. The Pille system will be put into operation by the Expedition 8 crew set to launch on October 28 from Baikonur on the Soyuz TMA-3 craft.