[ RadSafe ] Special Session on Radiation in Flight

jjshonka at shonka.com jjshonka at shonka.com
Sun Feb 1 16:43:53 CST 2015

The US Health Physics Society (HPS) is planning a Special Session on “Ionizing Radiation in Flight” at its 60th Annual Meeting, 12-16 July 2015, in Indianapolis, Indiana.  The goal is to cover advances in the subject area since 1998 when it was reviewed at the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements annual meeting and published thereafter in the Health Physics Journal (HPJ). The radiation source highlighted by that review was galactic cosmic rays (GCR). 

In the January 2015 HPJ, Ed Bramlitt and I discuss other in-flight radiation sources: terrestrial gamma ray flashes (TGF), solar neutron events (SNE), solar gamma ray events (SGE), and solar proton events (SPE) whose frequency is much greater than was believed in 1998. Also, dose from SPE is greater at the North pole, and transpolar flight frequency has grown exponentially since 2001.  Terrestrial neutron flashes (TNF) and thundercloud gamma ray events (TGE) or “glows” were unknown sources in 1998.

There is a need to know the doses aircraft crewmembers and passengers might receive from any of the in-flight sources. We are aware of published estimates that aircraft occupants can get up to 100 mSv from a TGF and 0.54 mSv from a TNF, and for significance, the monthly limit for a pregnant woman is 0.5 mSv. Dosimetry is needed, but it is not required with commercial aircraft in the US. 

This letter is distributed to persons with relevant publications and persons working in agencies or businesses involved with radiation at flight levels and low Earth orbit. A notice of the Special Session will be published in the March HPS newsletter asking for abstracts of 15-minute presentations.  If you feel that you need 30 minutes, your request can be granted for significant work.  Suitable topics include the various radiation sources and their exposure to aircraft occupants, detection of SNE, SGE, or TGF in flight or on the ground, dose measurements or estimates, dosimetry methods, radiation safety, legal and regulatory issues with aircrew and passenger exposures, and aircrew union concerns.

The HPS Annual Meeting due date for abstracts is February 7. However, if you notify me of a tentative title by February 7, I will arrange for you to have more time.  (The ultimate deadline is when the Annual Meeting program is finalized, but that date has not yet been set.)  If you can prepare an abstract by February 7, then submit it online at: http://hpschapters.org/2015AM/abstracts/index.php. 

You are welcome to forward this letter to persons you know who might be interested in presenting a paper or just attending the Special Session. For an incentive to present, we hope to have presentations published in a special issue of the HPJ as was done in 1998.

I look forward to your participation in the Special Session.


Joe Shonka, PhD

 jjshonka at shonka.com

(707) 509-7606

Sent from Windows Mail

More information about the RadSafe mailing list