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Radiation in space




Miles, 
   I was surprised when I wanted to put LEAD around my CPU in the
satellite we are building.  (We had no mass restrictions)  The experts
said that lead doesnt really do anything to help against neutrons.
Neutrons are "scattered" by Lead, but not slowed down at all.  Further.
they said aluminum is worse, when neutrons hit aluminum it generates a
splatter of all kinds of particles which actually increase your chances of
a CPU upset.

    The best thing that will absorb neutrons is Hydrogen such as water or
parrifin.  Apparently the neutron grabs a hydrogen an becomes helium which
slows it down.  But I bet Parrafin outgasses and brings its own problems.

   Since we got bumped, we never persued this further.  But I would like
to hear from any experts about retro-fit radation hardening of commercial
chips in space... 

   Oh, they also say that the electrons and Protons are effectively
blocked by other materials, they seemed to only think Neutrons
were the problem...???

bob, WB4APR



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