NASA adopted Timepix detectors to visualize the radiation on the International Space Station. It developed by Medipix2 in collaboration with CERN which is part of the Medipix family to reduced particle imaging and detection chips.
The detector is derived from the same technology used to track particle trajectories in CERN’s Large Hadron Collider which is known as the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator.
NASA with help of doctoral student from the University of Houston Nicholas Stoffle, has been working to bring advancement in radiation detectors for the better protection of astronauts and vital spacecraft systems during solar storms.
The detectors are based on technology that was originally developed by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) to sense particle collisions in high energy physics experiments.
CERN’s Knowledge Transfer Officer Aurélie Pezous said “We are particularly proud that Timepix helped space agencies such as NASA better understand the radiation environment in the International Space Station.”
Timepix based systems are best for NASA in space exploration missions and gather both radiation dose and physical location of the radiation as it passes through the detector as compared to previous NASA hardware.
NASA scientists using advanced particle identification algorithms for the radiation spectrum inside exploration spacecraft and better understand how to protect crew during deep space missions.
Storms coming from our Sun release invisible, high energy particles, also called ionizing radiation, into space at relativistic speeds that can damage spacecraft electronics and systems, and impact the health of astronauts.
Timepix enabled NASA to utilize this advanced radiation detection technology in subsequent missions. After six years of onboard testing and data collection, NASA recently updated the space station with new Timepix hardware that will continue the use of the Timepix based devices to study the onboard charged-particle radiation environment.