The Athena team utilizes high-performance multi-core computers (e.g., supercomputers) and sophisticated numerical techniques to design physiologic-equivalent ground-based analogs of the organ dose distribution incurred by astronauts. The results of this research will be the development a ground-based space radiation analog that exposes each major organ and tissue in a mammalian model to values of absorbed dose and radiation quality that correspond to those in astronauts. A physiological scalable analog that can simulate the non-homogenous space radiation environment in a laboratory setting.
The technology developed by Athena will include an apparatus to generate the radiation field, animal immobilization, and other components that utilize existing ground-based space irradiation facilities with no changes to the beam line infrastructure. This will enable NASA and its international and commercial partners real time observation of biological effects and greater understanding of the health risks associated with spaceflight.
Project Phalanx Lead
SpaRTAN Physics Group
Department of Physics & Astronomy, Louisiana State University
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