Student: Keegan Finger, Undergraduate Student in Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Drake University
Research Mentor: Dr. Athanasios Petridis
A Monte Carlo Particle Trajectory Code for Evaluation of Magneto-Ionization Spacecraft Shielding
The MISSFIT (Magneto-Ionization Spacecraft Shield for Interplanetary Travel) collaboration endeavors to design a novel method for protecting interplanetary travelers from harmful radiation using intense magnetic fields and energy loss by ionization and scattering. Just as the earth has a magnetosphere and ionosphere to protect its inhabitants from harmful radiation, MISSFIT seeks to develop a conceptual design of a shield that replicates this protection on a smaller scale: for a singular spacecraft. One major component of this design is the interaction between massive ions, intense magnetic fields, and gas. The best way to evaluate these interactions is by a Monte Carlo relativistic particle trajectory model to track ions through the magnetic field and gaseous regions. By including Monte Carlo straggling in the model, a more realistic depiction of the trajectories of these particles can be determined; and, by consequence, a better evaluation of the efficacy of the proposed method for shielding from radiation in interplanetary space.