Active Radiation Shield for Space Exploration Missions (ARSSEM)
One of the major issues to be solved is the protection from the effects of ionizing radiation. Exploration mission, lasting two to three years in space, represents a very significant step from the point of view of radiation protection: both the duration (up to 5 times) and the intensity (up to 5 times) of the exposure to radiation are increased at the same time with respect to mission on the ISS reaching and sometime exceeding professional career limits. In this ARSSEM report, after reviewing the physics basis of the issue of radiation protection in space, we present results based for the first time on full physics simulation to understand the interplay among the the various factors determining the dose absorbed by the astronauts during a long duration mission: radiation composition and energy spectrum, 3D particle propagation through the magnetic field, secondary production on the spacecraft structural materia, dose sensitivity of the various parts of the human body. As first application of this approach, we use this analysis to study a new magnetic configuration based on Double Helix coil and exhibiting a number of interesting features which are suited to active shield application. The study also proposes a technology R&D roadmap for active radiation shield development which would match ESA decadal development strategy for human exploration of space.