Soon to be launched on a Vega-C rocket, CELESTA will operate close to the centre of the inner Van Allen radiation belt, measuring the effects on electronics of the local fluxes of high-energy particles. This flagship project will also show the effectiveness of an innovative low-cost ground validation approach for microsatellites, based on radiation testing at system-level.

Space RadMon is a miniaturised version of the LHC’s well-proven radiation monitoring device. This reliable low-cost, low-power and low-mass instrument for radiation monitoring in space is entirely based on standardised, commercial-off-the-shelf components, selected and calibrated at CERN. Space RadMon is the ideal instrument to measure in realtime radiation effects such as total ionising dose, upsets and latchups.

Developed through the CERN-hosted Medipix2 Collaboration, Timepix detectors are extremely small but powerful particle trackers. Over the last decade, they have been used in various space applications: from detection and track visualisation of radiation and cosmic rays in open space to astronaut dosimetry.

Optical fibres for large-scale spacecraft dosimetry

In a spacecraft, in order to protect both its crew inhabitants and the electronics from radiation, it is mandatory to invest in effective radiation monitoring systems. The International Space Station, just like the LHC, is exposed to radiation over such a large area that it requires bespoke dosimetry devices. Optical fibre dosimetry is an experimental technique that can provide distributed radiation measurements with high spatial resolution.

Under the coordination of the French Space Agency CNES, CERN, Laboratoire Hubert Curien and iXblue are developing Lumina. This project will use several-kilometre long optical fibres as active dosimeters to measure ionising radiation in the International Space Station with very high sensitivity.

prototype Roebel cable to be used to wind a HTS accelerator demonstration dipole
This is a prototype Roebel cable to be used to wind a HTS accelerator demonstration dipole, a first of its kind, within the scope of EuCARD2 WP10 (Future Magnets). The strips are stainless steel and copper, but the final one will be an HTS tape (YBCO) and copper. This prototype cable was manufactured by KIT within the scope of EuCARD2. (Image: CERN)

Towards the first superconducting magnet in space

In space, high-field superconducting magnets based on high temperature superconductive (HTS) materials can have several promising applications: from very high resolution astroparticle spectrometry, to active shielding to protect astronauts from harmful radiation, and even debris removal.

One leading project in this field is the HTS Demonstrator Magnet for Space (HDMS), developed with the Italian Space Agency, the University of Trento and TIFPA. In the event of a successful demonstration, a scaled-up model could be integrated into a space experiment to become the first ever superconducting magnet for space.