This study analyzed the impact of galactic and solar cosmic rays on ambient dose equivalent during airline travel. A high statistic of flights are considered, which is representative of European international air traffic. Flight paths are based on the Eurocontrol Demand Data Repository and consider realistic flight plans with and without regulations or updated with radar data from the Central Flow Management Unit. Ambient dose equivalent during flights was investigated during quiet solar periods and extreme solar flare events. Thus, the statistical analyses presented here take into account route characteristics (departure, arrival, continent, etc.) and space weather conditions. The findings of this work show the important influence of flight path, particularly the latitude, which drives the cutoff rigidity variations. Moreover, dose values vary drastically during ground level enhancement events, with the route path (latitude, longitude and altitude) and the phasing of the solar event. This study highlights the importance of monitoring these solar events and developing a physical approach to obtain reliable assessment of ambient dose equivalents.
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Vol. 190 • No. 3