Poly allyl diglycol carbonate (PADC or CR-39®) etched track detectors may be used to estimate the neutron component of the cosmic radiation in spacecraft using simple techniques developed for neutron personal dosimetry. Electrochemically etched pits are identified and counted using fully automated read-out procedures. The neutron component of the radiation field at the location of the dosimeter will produce electrochemically etchable tracks, as will the proton and energetic heavy charged particle components, depending on particle type, energy and angle of incidence. The response to incident charged particles which produce tracks and are counted as if produced by a neutron, will lead to an over-estimate of the neutron component. A correction can be applied to take account of this, or an additional chemical etch carried out which allows discrimination. Recent results for exposures in low-Earth orbit are reported.
- Cosmic radiation