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A flexible low-cost instrument for radiation monitoring in space

Radiation poses a major threat to satellites. Galactic cosmic rays, solar flares and particles trapped in the Earth’s magnetosphere can have severe consequences on a satellite’s integrity, as the high energies associated with them can damage or even destroy its electronic components. CERN faces similar problems inside the Large Hadron Collider’s (LHC) tunnels and has developed radiation monitoring devices to prevent radiation damage to electronics.

Space RadMon is a miniaturised version of the LHC’s well-proven radiation monitoring device. This reliable low-cost, low-power and low-mass instrument for radiation monitoring in space is entirely based on standardised, commercial-off-the-shelf components, selected and calibrated at CERN. Space RadMon is the ideal instrument to measure in realtime radiation effects such as total ionising dose, upsets and latchups.

An improved, more precise and more flexible version of the instrument is in development, the Space RadMon-NG, capable of unprecedented sensitivity to low-energy protons.

Which space missions?
  • CELESTA (CERN and University of Montpellier).
  • TRISAT-R (University of Maribor and ESA).
  • OGMS (University of Paris-Créteil and CNES).
  • PRETTY (University of Gratz, Seibersdorf Laboratories and ESA), calibrated sensors.
  • IODA (Airbus and ESA), which will associate Space RadMon with optical microcameras provided by MCSE.
  • GOMX-5 (ESA and GomSpace), which will fly Space RadMon-NG version.

Space RadMon is perfectly suitable for radiation monitoring on CubeSats or other low-criticality missions.