Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering


Faysal Kolkailah, PhD


This paper focused on two significant space forces that can affect the success of a spacecraft: the radiation and micrometeoroid environments. Both are looked at in the context of the region of space between Earth and Mars. The goal was create reference environments, to provide context to results of environmental modeling, and to provide recommendations to assist in early design decisions of interplanetary spacecraft. The radiation section of this report used NASA's OLTARIS program to generate data for analysis. The area of focus was on the radiation effects for crewed missions, therefore effective dose equivalent was the metric used to compare different models of radiation and shielding. Test spheres with one, two, or three different materials layers were compared, along with modifiers such as alloys or weight vs. thickness emphasis. Results were compared to limits set by the European and Russian Space Agencies to provide context. The results hinged heavily on the intensity of the Solar Particle Events (SPEs), with testing using additional temporary radiation shielding proving to be a requirement for feasible shielding masses. Differences in shield material effectiveness were found to be negligible for thin Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCRs) and thick SPEs. Thick shields were found to perform better when the more efficient shield was on the outside of the test sphere. The micrometeoroid section used equations and programs from multiple sources to generate state vectors, flux, and finally impact models for four different case studies. Impacts v were generated with mass, velocity, and impact angle/location statistics. The mass and velocity results were run through statistical software to generate information such as mean and standard deviation with confidence intervals. Also looked at were higher mass impacts, limited to above 10-3 grams as opposed to above 10-6 for the regular case. The results of this show that very thin monolithic shields (0.1 cm-0.25 cm) could protect against the average 10-6 impact. The Ram, Nadir, and Anti-sun faces received the highest quantity of impacts and Wake received the least. When looking at the worst cases average mass and velocity for the high mass impacts significantly higher shielding was required to prevent penetration (up to 5 cm for some cases). However, the test cases had probabilities of no high mass impacts greater than 46% of the time, with shorter mission having greater chances of no high mass impacts.