The RPS will measure inner Van Allen belt protons with energies from 50 MeV to 2 GeV. Presently, the intensity of trapped protons with energies beyond about 150 MeV is not well known and thought to be underestimated in existing specification models. Such protons are known to pose a number of hazards to astronauts and spacecraft, including total ionizing dose, displacement damage, single event effects, and nuclear activation. This instrument will address a priority highly ranked by the scientific and technical community and will extend the measurement capability of this mission to a range beyond that originally planned. The project’s goal is development of a new standard radiation model for spacecraft design." Measurements include: Energetic protons responsible for total dose in MEO for shielding thickness over 200 mils aluminum; Protons responsible for displacement damage; Telescope consists of 8 silicon detectors and a Cherenkov detector; Stacked Si detectors used for 50 MeV to ~400 MeV, incident angle constrained by 8-fold coincidence; Chenrenkov detector used for >400 MeV; Absolute flux accuracy: dJ/J ~10%; Energy resolution: dE/E ~30% @ 50 MeV, to 100% @ 2 GeV; Angular resolution: 30° instantaneous, 5° deconvolved.
- The RPS web page: http://rbsp.aerospace.org/.
- The RPS Instrument paper: Mazur et al., 2012.