Gersey, B. B., Borak, T. B., Guetersloh, S. B., Zeitlin, C., Miller, J., Heilbronn, L., Murakami, T. and Iwata, Y. The Response of a Spherical Tissue-Equivalent Proportional Counter to Iron Particles from 200 – 1000 MeV/nucleon. Radiat. Res. 157, 350 – 360 (2002).
The radiation environment on board the space shuttle and the International Space Station includes high-Z and high-energy (HZE) particles that are part of the galactic cosmic radiation (GCR) spectrum. Iron-56 particles are considered to be one of the most biologically important parts of the GCR spectrum. Tissue-equivalent proportional counters (TEPCs) are used as active dosimeters on manned space flights. These TEPCs are further used to determine the average quality factor for each space mission. A TEPC simulating a 1-μm-diameter sphere of tissue was exposed as part of a particle spectrometer to 56Fe particles at energies from 200 – 1000 MeV/nucleon. The response of TEPCs in terms of mean lineal energy, ȳF, and dose mean lineal energy, ȳD, as well as the energy deposited at different impact parameters through the detector was determined for six different incident energies of 56Fe particles in this energy range. Calculations determined that charged-particle equilibrium was achieved for each of the six experiments. Energy depositions at different impact parameters were calculated using a radial dose distribution model, and the results were compared to experimental data.