References

Shielding for Space Ships

Radiation Effects/Risks

Shielding for Astronauts Plasma Physics
Solar Wind Activity Laboratory Experiments
Propulsion Solar System

Active shielding on Spacecraft

An exploration of the effectiveness of artificial mini-magnetospheres as a potential Solar Storm shelter for long term human space missions

R.A. Bamforda,*, B. Kelletta, J. Bradforda, T.N. Toddb, M. G. Benton, Sr.c, R. Stafford-Allenb, E.P. Alvesd, L. Silvad, C. Collingwooda, I.A. Crawforde, R. Binghamf,a

  1. RAL Space, STFC, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell Oxford, Didcot, OX11 0QX, U.K.
  2. Centre for Fusion Energy, Culham Science Centre, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 3DB, U.K.
  3. The Boeing Company, El Segundo, CA 90009-2919, USA.
  4. GoLP/Instituto de Plasmas e Fusão Nuclear, Instituto Superior Técnico, 1049-001 Lisboa Portugal.
  5. Dept of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Birkbeck College, London
  6. University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, UK.

Abstract

In this paper we explore the effectiveness of an artificial mini-magnetosphere as a potential radiation shelter for long term human space missions. Our study includes the differences that the plasma environment makes to the efficiency of the shielding from the high energy charged particle component of solar and cosmic rays, which radically alters the power requirements. The incoming electrostatic charges are shielded by fields supported by the self captured environmental plasma of the solar wind, potentially augmented with additional density. The artificial magnetic field generated on board acts as the means of confinement and control. Evidence for similar behaviour of electromagnetic fields and ionised particles in interplanetary space can be gained by the example of the enhanced shielding effectiveness of naturally occurring "mini-magnetospheres" on the moon. The shielding effect of surface magnetic fields of the order of ~100s nanoTesla is sufficient to provide effective shielding from solar proton bombardment that culminate in visible discolouration of the lunar regolith known as "lunar swirls". Supporting evidence comes from theory, laboratory experiments and computer simulations that have been obtained on this topic. The result of this work is, hopefully, to provide the tools for a more realistic estimation of the resources versus effectiveness and risk that spacecraft engineers need to work with in designing radiation protection for long-duration human space missions.

To read the full article click here.


Natural mini-magnetospheres on the Moon

Mini-magnetospheres above the Lunar Surface and the Formation of Lunar Swirls

R.A. Bamford1,*, B. Kellett1, W.J. Bradford1, C. Norberg23, K.J. Gibson3, I.A. Crawford4, L. Silva5, L. Gargaté5, R. Bingham6,1

  1. RAL Space, STFC, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell Oxford, Didcot, OX11 0QX, U.K.
  2. Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Box 812, SE-981 28 Kiruna, Sweden
  3. York Plasma Institute, Department of Physics, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom
  4. Dept of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Birkbeck College, London, United Kingdom
  5. GoLP/Instituto de Plasmas e Fusão Nuclear, Instituto Superior Técnico, 1049-001 Lisboa Portugal.
  6. University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, UK.

Abstract

Fig. 1. The Reiner Gamma formation (7.4°N, 300.9°E) is an example of a lunar swirl. Pictured here on the left-hand side of the image. Reiner Gamma is named after the Reiner impact crater shown for comparison on the right. The crater is 117 km to the east and has diameter of 30 km with a depth of 2.6 km. By contrast, the unusual diffuse swirling of the formation and concentric oval shape has fluidlike wisps that extend further to the east and west. Its distinctive lighter color stands out against the flat, dark surface of Oceanus Procellarum. Unlike crater ejecta, the shape of the formation appears unrelated to any topographic structures that would account for its presence.
Image courtesy of NASA.

In this paper we present in situ satellite data, theory, and laboratory validation that show how small-scale collisionless shocks and mini-magnetospheres can form on the electron inertial scale length. The resulting retardation and deflection of the solar wind ions could be responsible for the unusual "lunar swirl" patterns seen on the surface of the Moon.

To read the full article click here.


Shielding for Space Ships

Radiation Effects/Risks

Shielding for Astronauts Plasma Physics
Solar Wind Activity Laboratory Experiments
Propulsion Solar System

 

 

Shielding for Space Ships

Shields for the Star ship Enterprise : Ruth Bamford, Robert Bingham and Mike Hapgood discuss the physics behind shielding spacecraft from solar and cosmic radiation with minimagnetospheres.

Star Trek plasma shields: Measurements and modelling of a diamagnetic cavity.

Expansion of a plasma cloud into the solar wind.

Plasma Radiation Shield: Concept and Applications to Space Vehicles.

Shields for the Starship Enterprise: The Mini Magnetospheres Program.

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Radiation Effects/Risks

Investigations into Biological Effects of Radiation Using the GSI Accelerator Facility.

Mars Radiation Risk Assessment and Shielding Design for Long-Term Exposure to Ionizing Space Radiation.

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Shielding for Astronauts

Shielding Space Explorers From Cosmic Rays : Expert opinions are split on the most promising strategies for protecting astronauts from the dangers of cancer-inducing radiation in Space.

Revolutionary Concepts of Radiation Shielding for Human Exploration of Space.

Shielding Astronauts from Cosmic Rays.

Surface Charged Smart Skin Technology for Heat Protection, propulsion and Radiation Screening.

Will Mighty Magnets Protect Voyagers to Planets?

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Plasma Physics

Creation and expansion of a magnetized plasma bubble for plasma propulsion.

Very High Mach-Number Electrostatic Shocks in Collisionless Plasmas.

Wide ultrarelativistic plasma-beam–magnetic-barrier collision.

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Solar Wind Activity

Expansion of a plasma cloud into the solar wind.

Theory of wave activity occurring in the AMPTE artificial comet.

High-speed solarwind streams and geospace interactions.

Simulations of CME’s and solar energetic particle production.

Solar Wind Interaction with Artificial Atmospheres.

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Laboratory Experiments

Hybrid simulations of mini-magnetospheres in the laboratory.

“Raise Shields, Scotty”: Initial Experimental Results of a Laboratory Mini “Mini-Magnetosphere” for Astronaut Protection.

Measurements of the creation of a diamagnetic cavity and transport barrier in a laboratory supersonic plasma and comparison with computer simulations.

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Propulsion

Physical Problems of Artificial Magnetospheric Propulsion.

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Solar System

The Rough Guide to the Moon and Mars.

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