The technology is utilized for routine and extravehicular activity (EVA), individual dosimetry service for astronauts, and onboard outer-space experiments. The PILLE system is unique in its continuous
operation to monitor dose data right on board the space station, a feature that becomes increasingly
important for current and future space missions. Data readout can be set up based on research or health management purposes. The system with its 4th-generation has been almost continuously used in space for more than 40 years already. The system (called PILLE-MKS) is operated currently on board the ISS Zvezda module as part of the Russian segment service system operated by REMRED Ltd.
The development of the TRITEL 3D Space Dosimetry Telescope and Dosimetry System began in Hungary several years ago to measure radiation in space for dosimetric purposes. The system’s benefit is that it is utilising active silicon detector-based radiation monitoring capability covering the full 3D environment. The detectors can be combined into one system with a Central Handling Unit capable to operate up to 3 detectors and featuring a visualisation and controlling interface for the crew. TRITEL was operational on board the European Columbus module of the International Space Station (ISS) and installed in the Russian segment of the ISS, as well as participating in future Moon and Mars missions by installing on board the Lunar Gateway as part of IDA’s Payload and to be operated on board the ERO satellite on its way to Mars as part of a complex space dosimetry payload (called SDT Payload).
Complex Space Dosimetry System
The Space-GM project was an experiment designed by REMRED Ltd. that aimed to design and develop a GM counter system for sounding rockets and to quantify the cosmic radiation up to the maximum altitude of the REXUS rocket. Our team measured the direction dependence of the cosmic radiation and the altitude dependence of the count rates. Thus enabling an estimate of the dose rate altitude dependence based on the GM calibrations. Space radiation poses one of the most important risks during long-term crewed missions. The radiation environment in space is highly variable and very complex; there is no single dosimeter or one single method to determine the dose to the astronauts in this radiation field. Instead, a wide variety of dosimeter types (sensitive to different components and particle energies) and modelling (radiation transport calculations) are needed to estimate the dose to the members of the crew. As part of the activity, we develop the TRIPIL Combined TRITEL and PILLE Next Generation Space Dosimetry System for the Hungarian Research Astronaut Programme (HUNOR) including the Hungarian TRITEL and PILLE space dosimetry experimental and service system heritage and lessons learned from related ISS operations. The components of the system will be the 2nd generation TRITEL and the 5th generation PILLE system to be used for monitoring the radiation field complemented by a detector package of passive dosimeters (thermoluminescent and solid-state nuclear track detectors) for control and for determining the Linear Energy Transfer (LET) spectrum of particles also in the range not measured by TRITEL and PILLE. PSDS from future space industry applications, the technology can benefit Nuclear Environment Monitoring efforts too, identifying contaminated areas, localising radiation sources, protecting humans from radiation and operating onboard drones for radiation mapping.
To date, PILLE is the only dosimeter system
that can be used to estimate the dose to the
crew during extra-vehicular activity (EVA).
The objective of the activity is to develop,
manufacture and test a new active personal
dosimeter system capable of performing crew
dosimetry measurements also during EVAs and
to perform a demonstration of the system on
the ISS in the course of the mission of the next
Hungarian astronaut. The system consists of
a set of wearable dosimeter units that can be
mounted to an astronaut and a dedicated E-BOX
that can manage up to 10 dosimeter units (e.g.:
charge the battery, download measured data).
The project is part of the Hungarian Research
Astronaut Programme (HUNOR).