The response of a spherical tissue-equivalent proportional counter to 56-Fe particles from
The radiation environment aboard the space shuttle and the International Space Station includes high-Z and high-energy (HZE) particles that are part of the galactic cosmic radiation (GCR) spectrum. Iron-56 is considered to be one of the most biologically important parts of the GCR spectrum. Tissue-equivalent proportional counters (TEPC) are used as active dosimeters on manned space flights. These TEPC's are further used to determine average quality factor for each space mission. A TEPC simulating a 1 micron diameter sphere of tissue was exposed as part of a particle spectrometer to iron-56 at energies from 200-1000 MeV/nucleon. The response of TEPC in terms of frequency-averaged lineal energy, dose-averaged lineal energy, as well as energy deposited at different impact parameters through detector was determined for six different incident energies of iron-56 in this energy range. Calculations determined that charged particle equilibrium was achieved for each of the six experiments. Energy depositions at different impact parameters were calculated using a radial dose distribution model and the results compared to experimental data.