NASA LaRC Flight Projects Directorate
RaD-X - Radiation Dosimetry Experiment
Feature: September 25, 2015
Watch Launch Video
RaD-X Successfully Launched on Friday 9/25/15 at 1:00pm ET!!!
NASA's Radiation Dosimetry Experiment, or RaD-X, is a high-altitude balloon project that will launch in September 2015. It will provide first-time indications of how cosmic rays deposit energy at the top of atmosphere - which produce showers of additional particles that increase the energy deposited where commercial airlines fly.
This experiment will improve NASA’s Nowcast of Atmospheric Ionizing Radiation for Aviation Safety (NAIRAS) model, which is currently used by public and private entities for informed decision-making about radiation exposure safety for flight crews, the general public, and commercial space operations.
The desire to train the next generation of leaders at NASA takes flight with the Radiation Dosimetry Experiment (RaD-X). While obtaining the first-ever, high-altitude dosimetric measurements of cosmic ray interaction in the upper atmosphere, RaD-X simultaneously enables 13 trainees to gain the real world first-hand practical flight mission and real-time training needed to make it all happen.
The RaD-X training is unique to LaRC in that it tightly integrates mentoring, coaching, and informal training with NASA’s formal Academy of Program/Project and Engineering Leadership courses. The result is the creation of a customized, flexible, yet integratable, training approach that prepares the RaD-X team for mission success. The RaD-X missions returns energized, project-tested employees to LaRC and GSFC/WFF, with additional science and systems expertise to LaRC, radiation testing experience to ARC, and engineering approaches and scientific data from education and public outreach activities with Prairie View A&M.
NEWS: December 1, 2014
RaD-X Fabrication and Subsystem
Testing is Underway
RaD-X structure awaiting fit checks
Avionics box structure ready to integrate with flight computer
NEWS: July 3, 2014
RaD-X conducted a successful PDR on June 25. The preliminary SRB report identified 15 RFA’s
Science Motivation Figure
RaD-X contributes to the NASA Heliophysics Division Living With A Star (LWS) Program’s Strategic Goal #1: improve prediction of biologically harmful radiation exposure to air travelers by enhancing the understanding of cosmic ray transport processes and interactions with the atmosphere
NASA LaRC has made significant advances in quantifying and documenting aircraft radiation exposure by developing the Nowcast of Atmospheric Ionizing Radiation for Aviation Safety (NAIRAS) model: the first real-time, global, physics-based model that includes both galactic cosmic ray and solar energetic particle sources of radiation exposure.