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Dosimetry, Radiation Protection  &  Archaeometry

RESEARCH AREAS

TEAM

MAJOR EQUIPMENT

PROJECTS

PUBLICATIONS

TEACHING

 

RESEARCH AREAS

  • Archaeometry

Radiation physics archaeometry  [tbd]

  • Luminescence modells

Modelling of luminescence mechanisms  [tbd]

  • Neutron dosimetry

Neutron dosimetry with active and passive detector systems  [tbd]
Neutron spectrometry with Bonner sphere spectrometers  [tbd]

  • Biol. radiation effects

Radiobiology on cellular level  [tbd]
Quasibiological nanodosemeters  [tbd]

  • Space dosimetry

Dosimetry and risk estimation in space and air travel  [tbd]

 

TEAM

Scientific staff

Bergmann Robert, DI                                         Ext. / 141 04                        E-mail bergmann@ati.ac.at
Hajek Michael, Univ.Ass. DI Dr.                          Ext. / 141 93                        E-mail mhajek@ati.ac.at
Vana Norbert, Univ.Prof.i.R. DI Dr.                     Ext. / 141 77                        E-mail vana@ati.ac.at

Non-scientific staff

Fugger Manfred, Ing.                                             Ext. / 141 64                        E-mail fugger@ati.ac.at
Svoboda Ernst                                                       Ext. / 141 74                        E-mail ernst.svoboda@ati.ac.at

MSc and PhD students

Eigelsreiter Georg
Ellmeier Lucas M.
Fürstner Markus, DI
Fürweger Christoph, DI
Hassanpour Mahnaz, MSc
Hofmann Peter, DI
Kügler Patricia
Taylor Christian

 

MAJOR EQUIPMENT

  • Calibration facilities for alpha, beta and gamma exposure  [tbd]
  • LET spectrometer  [tbd]
  • Nuclear track detector analysis  [tbd]
  • Optical thermoluminescence spectrometer  [tbd]
  • Solar simulator  [tbd]
  • Thermoluminescence and optically stimulated luminescence analysis  [tbd]
  • Thermoluminescence dating facility with automated sample changer  [tbd]

 

PROJECTS

  • DOSFLIP (Radiation exposure of aircrew personnel)

Increasing mobility and associated air traffic stimulated the growing importance of aircrew exposure to secondary cosmic rays which are created in the Earth's atmosphere and cannot be perceived by the human sense organs. According to radiation quality and exposure duration health effects cannot be excluded entirely. Precise assessment of the complexly mixed radiation environment aboard airliners commonly requires considerable metrological expenditure. For the often employed devices rely on complex electronics, operation aboard will be permitted only after electromagnetic harmlessness has been certified. An experimental technique developed at the Institute of Atomic and Subatomic Physics permits assessing absorbed dose and estimating biological effectiveness of all cosmic-ray components by a passive detector of credit card size. The applied lithium fluoride thermoluminescence dosemeters are toxicologically harmless, do not emit electromagnetic radiation and, therefore, do not require certification prior to their use aboard. Functionality is based on the storage of energy from the absorbed radiation and its re-emission as light when the dosemeter is heated. Light intensity determined after exposure aboard is a measure of radiation dose and enables assessing its biological relevance. The described methodology has already been applied successfully during several space missions, in radiation therapy and radiobiology. Aicrew exposure to cosmic radiation shall be determined in a 1-year case study in cooperation with pilots and cabin crew of Tyrolean Airways GmbH. In addition to the legally prescribed assessment of the accumulated dose, dose rates may be averaged over the total flight duration. Based on the recorded air route and altitude profiles, experimental results shall be compared with simulations, using the widespread algorithms CARI and EPCARD. Utilisation of commercial thermoluminescence dosemeter chips of different lithium isotopic concentrations allows determining the dose contribution from the neutron component. Within the case study, also other dosemeter materials based on calcium fluoride shall be tested to investigate applicability of these substances to routine aircrew dosimetry. From preliminary experiments it may be expected that assessment of the biological effectiveness of mixed radiation fields can be achieved already at lower doses.

Duration: 09/2006-11/2007

Principal investigators: Univ.Ass. DI Dr. Michael Hajek, Univ.Prof.i.R. DI Dr. Norbert Vana

Funding: Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour (BMWA)

 

  • LETVAR (Hydrogenous polymers as cosmic ray shields)

Radiation exposure of astronaut crews has been identified as a key issue for the future development of human exploratory missions into interplanetary space, giving particular interest to dose reduction by appropriate shielding measures. Utilisation of hydrogenous compounds is proposed to optimize shielding strategies and design due to the favourable properties of low atomic number elements in attenuating galactic and solar cosmic rays. The projectile energy loss is proportional to ρ∙Z/A, reaching its maximum for liquid hydrogen targets. Light elements are moreover expected to minimize target fragmentation, particularly the production of secondary neutrons. The performance of novel polymer- and caoutchouc-based shields in reference to aluminium was investigated within the LETVAR experiment flow on board the European Space Agency (ESA) Biopan-5 mission as part of a 27 kg payload attached to the external surface of the Foton-M2 descent capsule. After the initial attempt failed in October 2004, the mission was launched successfully on May 31, 2005 from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and spent 15.6 days at an orbital altitude between 262 and 304 km, inclined by 63 ° to the equatorial plane, to expose its payload to the unshielded space environment in low-Earth orbit (LEO). After recovery, absorbed dose and linear energy transfer (LET) were determined with LiF:Mg,Ti thermoluminescence dosemeters (TLD) and CR-39 plastic nuclear track detectors (PNTD) in front and behind the material slabs. To support data interpretation, material samples equivalent to those flown in space were exposed—to the extent possible given the experimental constraints—to simulated LEO radiation conditions available from the Heavy Ion Medical Accelerator (HIMAC) facility in Chiba, Japan. The studies shall be continued in the near future in order to investigate beam fragmentation behind the shielding structures and test sandwich composites of aluminium, caoutchouc and polymers.

Duration: 07/2002-08/2005

Principal investigator: Univ.Prof. DI Dr. Norbert Vana

Funding: Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT)

 

  • MATROSHKA (Cosmic radiation exposure during space walks)

The European Space Agency (ESA) Matroshka experiment was launched to the International Space Station (ISS) with a Russian Progress freighter on January 29, 2004. Co-operation of 15 laboratories around the world makes it the most extensive research effort in radiation dosimetry ever preformed in space. The facility is aimed to simulate an astronaut’s body during an extravehicular activity. Matroshka basically consists of a human phantom torso attached to a base structure and covered with a protective carbon fibre container which acts as a space suit simulation. The phantom is divided into 33 tissue-equivalent polyurethane slices of specific density for tissue and organs. Natural bones are embedded. Channels and cut-outs enable accommodation of active and passive radiation monitors as well as temperature and pressure sensors. In total, the phantom houses 7 active instruments and over 6000 passive detectors of which the Institute of Atomic and Subatomic Physics provides more than 1000 thermoluminescence dosimeter crystals for dose measurements with high spatial resolution and estimation of the biological effectiveness of the radiation field. Matroshka was mounted outside the Russian Segment on February 26, 2004, and recovered on August 18, 2005. During that 18-month exposure period, the integrated radiation detectors measured distributions of particle fluence, energy spectra and accumulated doses within the anthropomorphic phantom body, particularly in identified radiosensitive organs and tissues. The results are expected to contribute essentially to reliable radiation risk estimations of astronaut crew.

Duration: 08/2003-09/2006

Principal investigators: Univ.Prof. DI Dr. Norbert Vana, Univ.Ass. DI Dr. Michael Hajek

Funding: Austrian Research Promotion Agency, Aeronautics and Space Agency (FFG-ALR)

 

  • RADIS (Dose distribution within a human phantom torso aboard ISS)

The cosmic radiation environment is significantly different from that found terrestrially. Cosmic rays primarily consist of high-energy charged particles originating from galactic and solar sources. Some of these particles inflict greater biological damage than that resulting from terrestrial radiation hazards. Particle and energy spectra are attenuated in interaction processes within the human body. The reliable assessment of health risks to astronaut crews is pivotal in the design of future expeditions into interplanetary space and requires knowledge of absorbed radiation doses in critical radiosensitive organs and tissues. Within the further utilization of the European Space Agency (ESA) Matroshka facility onboard the Russian Segment of the International Space Station (ISS) the dose profile in the anthropomorphic phantom body shall be investigated. Different active and passive detector systems from 16 participating international laboratories are distributed at the surface and inside the phantom. The Institute of Atomic and Subatomic Physics provides roughly 1000 small thermoluminescence dosimeter crystals for dose measurements with high spatial resolution and estimation of the biological effectiveness of the radiation field by means of the worldwide unique high-temperature ratio (HTR) method. In two phases, Matroshka shall be exposed inside and outside the spacecraft hull. The results are also expected to improve the dosimetric metrology in mixed radiation fields and are directly applicable to radiotherapy and aircrew radiation monitoring.

Duration: 05/2005-06/2008

Principal investigators: Univ.Prof.i.R. DI Dr. Norbert Vana, Univ.Ass. DI Dr. Michael Hajek

Funding: Austrian Research Promotion Agency, Aeronautics and Space Agency (FFG-ALR)

 

  • RADO (Attenuation of cosmic rays in thin layers of matter)

[tbd]

Duration: 07/2002-03/2004

Principal investigators: Univ.Prof. DI Dr. Norbert Vana

Funding: Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT)

 

  • UVDOS (UV personal dosimetry based on optically stimulated luminescence)

The medical, industrial and technological applications of ultraviolet (UV) radiation are continuously growing. This stimulates the necessity to design a portable monitoring instrument to assess UV exposure at workplaces. Utilisation of solid-state dosimetry methods combines all advantages of common luminescent detectors, such as small size, robustness and easy handling. To comply with these requirements a novel reader for optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) is developed in-house. The system shall be multifunctional in its potential applicability to both UV dosimetry as well as geological and archaeological dating. Initial calibration is performed with a 300 W solar simulator. Air mass and band pass filters are used to modify the emitted spectrum. A multi-purpose software operating under Microsoft Windows 2000/XP is developed to control the readout process and analyse the decay curves. The user is enabled to switch between different readout modes: continous wave (CW-OSL), linearily modulated (LM-OSL), delayed (DOSL) or pulsed OSL (POSL). An extensive study of different luminescent phosphors (AlN-Y2O3, α-Al2O3:C, KBr:Eu, KCl:Eu, MgS:Ce,Sm, ZrO2 and kunzite) shall select the most appropriate material for the purpose of routine UV dosimetry.

Duration: 01/2005-06/2007

Principal investigators: Univ.Ass. DI Dr. Michael Hajek, Univ.Prof.i.R. DI Dr. Norbert Vana

Funding: Austrian Social Insurance for Occupational Risks (AUVA)

 

PUBLICATIONS

  • Reviewed journal articles (2000-2007)

  1. M. Hajek, T. Berger, W. Schöner et al., Comparison of measurements with active and passive Bonner sphere spectrometers, T. Am. Nucl. Soc. 83, 263 (2000).
  2. T. Berger, M. Hajek, W. Schöner et al., Measurement of the depth distribution of average LET and absorbed dose inside a water-filled phantom on board space station Mir, Phys. Medica 17, 128 (2001).
  3. M. Hajek, T. Berger, W. Schöner et al., Analysis of the neutron component at high altitude mountains using active and passive measurement devices, Nucl. Instrum. Meth. A 476, 69 (2002).
  4. T. Berger, M. Hajek, W. Schöner et al., Application of the high-temperature ratio method for evaluation of the depth distribution of dose equivalent in a water-filled phantom on board space station Mir, Radiat. Prot. Dosim. 100, 503 (2002).
  5. M. Hajek, T. Berger, W. Schöner et al., Dose assessment of aircrew personnel using passive detectors, Radiat. Prot. Dosim. 100, 511 (2002).
  6. M. Hajek, T. Berger, W. Schöner et al., Advantages of passive detectors for the determination of the cosmic ray induced neutron environment, Radiat. Prot. Dosim. 100, 541 (2002).
  7. T. Berger, M. Hajek, W. Primerano et al., Thermoluminescence dating of archaeological artefacts from Middle Neolithic, Bronze Age and the Roman Empire period, Radiat. Prot. Dosim. 101, 363 (2002).
  8. M. Hajek, T. Berger, N. Vana, Extended pair method for neutron dosimetry at high atmospheric altitudes, T. Am. Nucl. Soc. 89, 750 (2003).
  9. T. Berger, M. Hajek, L. Summerer et al., Austrian radiation dose measurements onboard space station Mir and the International Space Station – overview and comparison, Adv. Space Res. 34, 1414 (2004).
  10. M. Hajek, T. Berger, N. Vana, A TLD-based personal dosemeter system for aircrew monitoring, Radiat. Prot. Dosim. 110, 337 (2004).
  11. M. Hajek, T. Berger, N. Vana, Passive in-flight neutron spectrometry by means of Bonner spheres, Radiat. Prot. Dosim. 110, 343 (2004).
  12. M. Hajek, T. Berger, M. Fürstner et al., BRADOS – dose determination in the Russian Segment of the International Space Station, Adv. Space Res. 37, 1664 (2006).
  13. T. Berger, G. Reitz, M. Hajek et al., Comparison of various techniques for the exact determination of absorbed dose in heavy ion fields using passive detectors, Adv. Space Res. 37, 1716 (2006).
  14. M. Hajek, T. Berger, M. Fugger et al., Dose distribution in the Russian segment of the International Space Station, Radiat. Prot. Dosim. 120, 446 (2006).
  15. N. Vana, M. Hajek, T. Berger et al., Novel shielding materials for space and air travel, Radiat. Prot. Dosim. 120, 405 (2006).
  16. T. Berger, M. Hajek, M. Fugger et al., Efficiency-corrected dose verification with thermoluminescence dosemeters in heavy-ion beams, Radiat. Prot. Dosim. 120, 361 (2006).
  17. T. Berger, M. Hajek, L. Summerer et al., The efficiency of various thermoluminescence dosemeter types to heavy ions, Radiat. Prot. Dosim. 120, 365 (2006).
  18. C. Fürweger, M. Hajek, N. Vana et al., Cellular signal transduction events as a function of linear energy transfer (LET), Radiat. Prot. Dosim., doi:10.1093/rpd/ncm086 (2007).

  • Reviewed book chapters (2000-2007)

  1. M. Hajek, T. Berger, W. Schöner et al., Messungen mit aktiven und passiven Bonner-Kugel-Spektrometern – Ein Vergleich, in Strahlenschutz für Mensch und Gesellschaft im Europa von morgen, edited by K. Mück, A. Hefner, N. Vana (TÜV, Cologne, 2001).
  2. T. Berger, M. Hajek, W. Schöner et al., Das LET-Spektrometersystem PART – Messungen in einem Phantom, in Strahlenschutz für Mensch und Gesellschaft im Europa von morgen, edited by K. Mück, A. Hefner, N. Vana (TÜV, Cologne, 2001).
  3. T. Berger, M. Hajek, W. Schöner et al., Projekt »Phantom« – Messung der absorbierten Dosis, des »averaged LET« und des Flusses der thermischen Neutronen in einem gewebeäquivalenten Phantom an Bord der Raumstation MIR, in Strahlenschutz für Mensch und Gesellschaft im Europa von morgen, edited by K. Mück, A. Hefner, N. Vana (TÜV, Cologne, 2001).
  4. N. Vana, M. Noll, W. Schöner et al., Measurements of the biologically relevant dose in space, aircraft and during medical applications using the newly developed HTR-method, in 10 years space biomedical research in Austria, edited by H. Hinghofer-Szalkay (Facultas, Vienna, 2001).
  5. M. Hajek, T. Berger, N. Vana et al., Neutron dosimetry onboard aircraft using superheated emulsions, in The Natural Radiation Environment VII, edited by J. P. McLaughlin, E. S. Simopoulos, F. Steinhäusler (Elsevier, Oxford, 2005).
  6. M. Hajek, T. Berger, L. Summerer et al., Measurements and calculations of the radiation exposure of aircrew personnel on different flight routes, in The Natural Radiation Environment VII, edited by J. P. McLaughlin, E. S. Simopoulos, F. Steinhäusler (Elsevier, Oxford, 2005).

  • Reviewed proceedings (2000-2007)  [nn]

  • Proceedings (2000-2007)  [nn]

  • Other publications (2000-2007)  [nn]

 

TEACHING

  • Lectures

141.107    VO    Biological radiation effects                                                                     ECTS 1.5
141.399    VO    Radiation physics archaeometry                                                          ECTS 3.0
141.721    VO    Nonionizing radiation protection                                                           ECTS 3.0
141.611    VO    Radiation protection dosimetry                                                             ECTS 3.0
141.754    VO    Space dosimetry                                                                                      ECTS 1.5

  • Laboratory courses

141.104    PR    Laboratory course in radiation protection                                           ECTS 5.0
141.106    PR    Archaeometry: dating, trace element determination                         ECTS 3.0

  • Seminars

    141.258    SE    Archaeometry seminar                                                                           ECTS 3.0

  • Practical training

141.018    PA    Practical training in radiation protection dosimetry                           ECTS 10.0
141.016    PA    Practical training in archaeometry                                                        ECTS 10.0