ARMAS Dual Monitor program measures first ever radiation dose in atmosphere column
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA. Space Environment Technologies (SET) announced the successful accomplishment of a milestone today in the simultaneous measurement of radiation at the top and bottom of the atmosphere at the same latitude and longitude columns. “For the first time ever, there are six instances in which the top-to-bottom measurements were made,” said Dr. W. Kent Tobiska, Chief Scientist of SET. “These datasets will provide the science community an ability to compare measurements to models of the radiation environment at International Space Station (ISS) and commercial aviation altitudes.”
These measurements are made as part of the NASA-sponsored Automated Radiation Measurements for Aerospace Safety (ARMAS) Dual Monitor (DM) project. ARMAS DM is sponsored by NASA Heliophysics Division and by NASA Flight Opportunities Office. This project has placed the ARMAS ISS instrument on the space station, starting in February 2022 and continuing until the end of 2022. The project has been enhanced by the NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) Pilot Radiation Study.
ARMAS measurements of the radiation environment on the ISS have been nearly continuous since March 2022. On July 1, 2022 the first conjunction occurred, i.e., where there were coincident measurements on the ISS at 425 km altitude capturing the primary incoming particles and at 10.7 km on a commercial flight from San Francisco to Paris. The second conjunction occurred on August 2, 2022 on a commercial flight at 11.3 km from San Francisco to Boston, the third and fourth conjunctions occurred on August 16, 2022 on a corporate business jet at 13.1 km from Hartford to Tucson, the fifth conjunction was on August 17, 2022 on a commercial jet at 9.8 km from Tucson to San Francisco. The sixth conjunction was also on August 17, 2022 on a corporate business jet at 12.5 km from Tucson to Hartford.
The range of geographic latitudes covered by these conjunctions as 34-59 deg (N) and –45 to –122 deg (W) longitude across the United States. There were no geomagnetic storms occurring during these conjunctions, allowing them to serve as a baseline for future measurement comparisons.