Mississippi State University
Belk, Davy M.
Date of Degree
Graduate Thesis - Open Access
Master of Science
James Worth Bagley College of Engineering
Department of Aerospace Engineering
The Earth’s upper atmosphere is suffused by radiation caused primarily by a bombardment of Cosmic Rays, as a result of which it is hazardous for human beings as well as sensitive electronic equipment on board flight vehicles. A series of ground based as well as airborne experiments were performed using Polylactic Acid (PLA), Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene (ABS) and High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS), in order to investigate the applicability of polymers that can meet today’s needs for lightweight, multifunctional, and cost efficiency in radiation shielding of electronic equipment. It was found that PLA at 8 mm thickness has an effectiveness of 66% against gamma radiation (i.e., it blocked 66% of the gamma radiation). Therefore, it was decided to proceed with a high altitude balloon experiment with an 8 mm thickness of PLA. The shield was demonstrated to be reasonably effective in attenuating radiation from cosmic rays.
Driouche, Bouteina, "An Investigation of the Effectiveness of Polymer Based Materials for Radiation Shielding of Flight Vehicles" (2017). Theses and Dissertations. 590.