John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences

News and information from the UND John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences.

Thesis Defense by Arturo Ortiz on March 11th

Space Studies Master’s student, Art Ortiz, will defend his thesis as follows.  Please mark your calendar and show your support by attending.

When: Wednesday, March 11th at 3:00 p.m. (Central time)

Where: Ryan Hall, Room 111

Title:  Radiation Shielding Approaches for Planetary Surface Exploration:  A Mars Case Study for UND Concepts

About the Topic:  Surface stays on Mars may expose astronauts to high radiation doses from solar flares and galactic cosmic radiation.  Calculations were done to assess the radiation shielding effectiveness of planetary surface exploration concepts (geological surveys scenarios) developed by UND Space Studies:  the Inflatable Lunar-Martian Habitat (ILMH), Pressurized Electric Rover (PER), and prototype Mars space suits.  Computational analyses were performed using the NASA Langley HZETRN and NUCFRG3 radiation computer codes with ray-by-ray transport through three-dimensional shielding thickness distributions.  A minimal scenario entails exploration below 4 km elevation, with a major solar flare occurring while the astronaut is inside a lightly shielded ILMH deployed at 0 km elevation.  An intermediate scenario entails the same conditions, but with the solar flare occurring while the astronaut is performing extravehicular activity (EVA) at 4 km elevation.  In an extreme scenario, the solar flare occurs while the astronaut is performing EVA between 24 and 30 km elevation.  Total Earth year exposure under the three scenarios is 270, 337, and 1196 mSv, respectively, with the threshold for acute radiation syndrome exceeded under the extreme scenario.  Some versions of additional shielding structures and materials are suggested to minimize astronaut exposure to ionizing radiation during Mars surface stays. The PER and space suit provide little protection from solar flares under any reasonable shielding, which drives a need to formulate alternative, more detailed radiation protection strategies for extended surface roving and EVA on Mars.

BIO:  Arturo earned a B.S. in Physics from the University of Puerto Rico (Rio Piedras) in 1978, a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1983, and an M.S. in Physics from the California State University (Northridge) in 1998.  As an Air Force officer, he worked in solid rocket propulsion and space surveillance, and served as an Air Force Space Command instructor for missile warning crews.  As a civilian engineer, he worked in testing of Tomahawk cruise missiles, testing of the RS-68 rocket engine for the Delta IV space launch vehicle, and flight testing of the X-43A, C-17A, C-130J, and C-5M aircraft.  He taught physics as adjunct faculty for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and space systems management for Webster University.  Retired after 33 years of military and civil service, he is pursuing an M.S. in Space Studies as a first step toward a new career of research and teaching in the space sciences.

******Those unable to attend in person may view the live webcast******

1) A live webcast which includes PowerPoint slides will be available here.   Please note:  this option is currently not operational on portable devices/tablets.

2) A simple live webcast is also available here

3) Via Adobe ConnectPro.  Sign in as a guest, or use your Connect-Pro log-in