A Novel Approach to Space Radiation Tests by Using High Power Laser Plasma Interactions

Keskin M. Y., DEMİRKÖZ M. B., Culfa O.

Plasma Physics Reports, vol.49, no.6, pp.748-758, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 49 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1134/s1063780x22602048
  • Journal Name: Plasma Physics Reports
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, INSPEC
  • Page Numbers: pp.748-758
  • Keywords: ion acceleration, laser-plasma interaction, PIC simulations, space radiation, spectrum-based radiation tests
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Abstract: The potential for protons and ions accelerated by ultra-intense high power laser systems was investigated to perform space radiation tests for electronic components and materials which will be used in space. Currently, conventional accelerator systems, which produce monoenergetic particle beams, are employed for space radiation testing. All components must be tested with several different monoenergetic proton and ion beams selected from their continuous energy spectra in space because their broad energy range is a difficult to mimic with discrete energy beams coming from conventional accelerators. Therefore, each component is subjected to at least five different energy proton tests as well as a selection of beams of different ions, which increases the cost of determining the radiation hardness of these components and makes it unpractical. However, laser driven accelerators (LDAs) are capable of producing a mixed environment of particles such as electrons, protons, neutrons, and ions, as well as photons in a wide energy range. The parameters of the laser-plasma interaction can be selected so that the energy spectra and particle fluences of the space radiation environment can be recreated in the laboratory. By using LDA systems, the impact of space radiation on space electronics can be tested using table-top lasers. We performed particle-in-cell (PIC) codes to calculate the energy spectra of accelerated particles via laser plasma interactions. In our simulations, H+ and C+6 energy spectra produced from high power laser and plasma interactions were obtained using EPOCH 2D PIC code. These spectra were compared with proton and C+6 energy spectra and fluences in four different Earth orbits at different altitudes in space, obtained using the NASA AP-8MIN, the CREME-96 and the ESP-PSYCHIC models from the SPENVIS program. The comparisons between the results of EPOCH simulations and SPENVIS look promising in terms of the similarities of these spectra up to 190 MeV for protons and up to 1150 MeV for carbon ions. The idea of using accelerated particles from ultra-intense lasers rather than the conventional accelerator systems is promising for space radiation tests due to their wide energy range.