Bi, Ruoming (2011-12). Custom Device for Low-Dose Gamma Irradiation of Biological Samples. Master's Thesis. Thesis uri icon


  • When astronauts travel in space, their primary health hazards are high-energy cosmic radiations from galactic cosmic rays (GCR). Most galactic cosmic rays have energies between 100 MeV and 10 GeV. For occupants inside of a space shuttle, the structural material is efficient to absorb most of the cosmic-ray energy and reduce the interior dose rate to below 1.2 mGy per day. However, the biological effects of prolonged exposure to low-dose radiation are not well understood. The purpose of this research was to examine the feasibility of constructing a low-dose irradiation facility to simulate the uniform radiation field that exists in space. In this research, we used a pre-manufactured incubator, specifically the Thermo Scientific Forma Series II Water Jacketed CO2 Incubator, to act as shielding and simulate the exterior of the space shuttle. To achieve the desired dose rate (< 1 mGy/h) inside the incubator volume, the computer code MCNPX was used to determine required source activity and distance between the shielding and source. Once the activity and distance were calculated, an experiment was carried out to confirm the simulation results. The confirmation used survey meters and thermoluminescence dosimeters (TLDs) to map the radiation field within the incubator.

publication date

  • December 2011