Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Aerospace Engineering Sciences

First Advisor

George H. Born

Second Advisor

David M. Klaus

Third Advisor

Webster Cash

Fourth Advisor

Jeffrey Parker

Fifth Advisor

Steve Blattnig


The use of active magnetic radiation shielding designs has the potential to reduce the radiation exposure received by astronauts on deep-space missions at a significantly lower mass penalty than designs that utilize only passive shielding. One of the common techniques for assessing the effectiveness of active or passive shielding designs is the use of Monte Carlo analysis to determine crew radiation exposure. Unfortunately, Monte Carlo analysis is a lengthy and computationally intensive process, and the associated time requirements to generate results make a broad analysis of the active magnetic shield design trade space impractical using this method. The ability to conduct a broad analysis of system design variables would allow the selection of configurations suited to specific mission goals, including mission radiation exposure limits, duration, and destination. Therefore, a rapid analysis method is required in order to effectively assess active shielding design parameters, and this body of work was developed in order to address this need. Any shielding analysis should also use complete representations of the radiation environment and detailed transport analyses to account for secondary particle production mechanisms. This body of work addresses both of these issues by utilizing the full Galactic Cosmic Radiation GCR flux spectrum and a detailed transport analysis to account for secondary particle effects due to mass interactions. Additionally, there is a complex relationship between the size and strength of an active shielding design and the amount and type of mass required to create it. This mass can significantly impact the resulting flux and radiation exposures inside the active shield, and any shielding analysis should not only include passive mass, but should attempt to provide a reasonable estimate of the actual mass associated with a given design. Therefore, a survey of active shielding systems is presented so that reasonable mass quantity and composition estimates can be utilized. This survey also allows the identification of several key technologies for the development of an active magnetic shield design. The resulting rapid analysis model allows a large range of magnetic field strengths and thicknesses to be analyzed, allowing the determination of design requirements in order to address the needs of different missions.