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Recent investigations on the exposure of aircrew to cosmic radiation

International conference on occupational radiation protection: protecting workers against exposure to ionising radiation, Geneva, 26-30 August 2002. J.F. Bottollier-Depois(1) , D.Bartlett(2) , P. Beck(3) , F. Wissman(4) , L. Lindborg(5) , D. O’Sullivan(6) , L. Tommasino(7) (1) IRSN/DPHD/SDOS/UDAC, BP17, 92262 Fontenay-aux-Roses, France (2) National Radiation Protection Board, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Norhern Ireland (3) Osterreichisches Forschungszentrum Seibersdorf, Austria (4) Physikalish-Technische Bundesanstalt, Germany (5) Swedish Radiation Protection Authority, Sweden (6) Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, School of Cosmic Physics, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (7) Agenzia Nazionale per la Protezione dell’Ambiente, Italy

Summary

The study of naturally-occurring radiation and its effects on man is one of the preoccupations of organisations responsible for radiation protection. Cosmic particle flux increases with latitude and altitude. It is significantly higher aboard aircraft than at ground level. Furthermore, its intensity depends on the solar activity and solar eruptions. Due to their professional activity, flight crews may receive a dose of some millisieverts within one year; airline passengers may be concerned also. This is why the European Union (EU) regulation adopted in 1996, based on the ICRP 60 recommendations, requires the aircraft operators to assess the exposure and to inform their flight crews about the risk. The effective dose is to be estimated using various experimental and calculation means. Since a decade, many measurements have been carried out, and some models have been developed. Nevertheless, precise data are needed over a complete solar cycle and in the case of ground level events (GLE), solar eruption with an effect on ground. Furthermore, the calculation models need to be improved in particular for GLE. As a consequence, the EU has supported investigations of the cosmic radiation for the aeronautics since 1993.
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