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#1 2017-09-10 14:04:34

cicero125
Member
Registered: 2017-09-10
Posts: 1

Solenoid use with surface habitation units

Why not place a solenoid at the apex or highest elevation point of surface habitation units e.g. apex of dome or other shaped structure to help protect the inhabitants from cosmic and solar radiation coming from the sky? The solenoid could be switched on or off as required and would be sufficient to stop or greatly reduce any remaining radiation getting through the Martian atmosphere.

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#2 2017-09-10 14:08:40

RobS
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From: South Bend, IN
Registered: 2002-01-15
Posts: 1,667
Website

Re: Solenoid use with surface habitation units

How do you know it would be sufficient? Cosmic rays move at millions of miles an hour. An electric field won't bend its path much in a few meters.

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#3 2017-09-10 16:23:01

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 10,262

Re: Solenoid use with surface habitation units

Ah the creation of a magnetic field or RF field depending on the source of power sent into the coil with or without any ferrite materials for a core that these windings are place around. Some of this was covered in this topic...
Artificial Magnetosphere - Electromagnetic Induction

Static shield concepts are part of a lunar colony...

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#4 2017-09-11 11:41:03

Terraformer
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From: Atlantis
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 2,405
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Re: Solenoid use with surface habitation units

As far as I know, charged particles aren't a worry on Mars, since the atmosphere is thick enough to block it. It's the steady flux of cosmic radiation that's the issue, and that can't be practically blocked with anything other than sheer mass.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#5 Yesterday 14:28:27

Antius
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2007-05-22
Posts: 870

Re: Solenoid use with surface habitation units

Cosmic rays are an issue on Mars.  They hit the upper atmosphere producing a shower of secondary particles, much as they do on Earth.  The Martian atmosphere has only 1.6% of the column density of Earth's atmosphere, so most of those particles reach the ground.  On the plus side, they individually have less energy than the original cosmic ray.  So the magnetic field need not be as strong as it would need to be in free space.

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#6 Yesterday 15:54:18

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 4,921
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Re: Solenoid use with surface habitation units

Terraformer wrote:

As far as I know, charged particles aren't a worry on Mars, since the atmosphere is thick enough to block it. It's the steady flux of cosmic radiation that's the issue, and that can't be practically blocked with anything other than sheer mass.

Actually, the report from the MARIE team, the radiation instrument on Mars Odyssey, found the reverse. Mars atmosphere blocks 90% of heavy ion galactic cosmic radiation at a high altitude location like Meridiani Planum where Opportunity landed. Or 98% at a low altitude location such as Elysium Planetia where Spirit landed. Curiosity landed in a river delta, but Spirit landed on the dried-up ocean basin. However, the lighter the particle, the less effective atmosphere is. So it's less effective blocking medium ion GCR, most light ion GCR gets through, and almost all proton radiation from the Sun reaches the surface.

There's very little GCR, and it's steady. Solar radiation is the issue. Most of the time it's fine, about half that of ISS. At a low altitude location like Curiosity or Spirit, radiation is less than half of ISS. The issue is a solar flair or Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). That's highly intense radiation for a short time. It's from the Sun, so mostly proton radiation, and low energy compared to GCR.

Beta radiation is high speed free electrons. It's so low mass that human skin can stop it. Or a single sheet of paper, or single layer of plastic film. Alpha radiation is a helium nuclei; it's stopped by a single layer of aluminum foil. Aluminized Mylar of multi-layer insulation of a spacesuit will stop it. Or spectrally selective coating on a polymer film greenhouse. Space doesn't have much X-rays, the metal of spectrally selective coating should be enough to block that. The coating is specifically designed to block UV-C, UV-B, and most of UV-A.

That just leaves proton, gamma, and light ion GCR. Regolith effectively blocks that.

A magnetic field strong enough and high enough *MIGHT* deflect solar proton radiation.

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#7 Yesterday 16:59:42

3015
Member
Registered: 2017-01-08
Posts: 11

Re: Solenoid use with surface habitation units

Do we really have to worry about particle radiation from the Sun? I'm sure everyone here has read this paper on Curiosity's radiation measurements on Mars, it details the one solar energetic particle event Curiosity had witnessed at the time of the study. The dose equivalent for that event was only 0.025 mSv, a small fraction of the dose equivalent rate from GCRs for a normal day on the surface of Mars.

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