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1 May 2000 Assessing Exposure to Cosmic Radiation during Long-haul Flights
Jean-François Bottollier-Depois, Quang Chau, Patrick Bouisset, Gilles Kerlau, Luc Plawinski, Laurence Lebaron-Jacobs
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Abstract

Bottollier-Depois, J. F., Chau, Q., Bouisset, P., Kerlau, G., Plawinski, L. and Lebaron-Jacobs, L. Assessing Exposure to Cosmic Radiation during Long-haul Flights.

The assessment of exposure to cosmic radiation on board aircraft is one of the concerns of organizations responsible for radiation protection. Cosmic-particle flux increases with altitude and latitude and depends on solar activity. To illustrate the effect of these parameters, exposure has been estimated on several airlines operating subsonic and supersonic aircraft on transatlantic, Siberian and transequatorial routes. Measurements have been made with a tissue-equivalent proportional counter using the microdosimetric technique. This type of system provides the absorbed dose, the ambient dose equivalent, the mean quality factor, and the dose distribution as a function of lineal energy. Data were collected at maximum solar activity in 1991–1992 and at minimum activity in 1996–1998. The lowest mean dose rate measured was 3 μSv h–1 during a Paris–Buenos Aires flight in 1991. The highest rates were 6.6 μSv h–1 during a Paris–Tokyo flight on a Siberian route and 9.7 μSv h–1 on Concorde in 1996–1997. The mean quality factor is around 1.8. The corresponding annual effective dose, based on 700 h of flight for subsonic aircraft and 300 h for Concorde, can be estimated at between 2 mSv for the least-exposed routes and 5 mSv for the more-exposed routes.

Jean-François Bottollier-Depois, Quang Chau, Patrick Bouisset, Gilles Kerlau, Luc Plawinski, and Laurence Lebaron-Jacobs "Assessing Exposure to Cosmic Radiation during Long-haul Flights," Radiation Research 153(5), 526-532, (1 May 2000). https://doi.org/10.1667/0033-7587(2000)153[0526:AETCRD]2.0.CO;2
Received: 26 April 1999; Accepted: 1 January 2000; Published: 1 May 2000
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