SWORD (SoftWare for Optimization of Radiation Detectors) is a widely-used and trusted software capability that applies 3-D Monte Carlo methods to simulate the passage of high energy radiation through matter. The simulations provide an effective means to study radiation environments in maritime, urban, and space scenarios of interest. HPC systems are an efficient mechanism for performing the computationally-extensive SWORD studies in a timely manner.

SWORD as applied to space situations

  • Can make complex mass models of spacecraft for accurate radiation transport calculations
  • Have made mass models with > 100,000 objects
  • Can expose mass model to any high-energy radiation:
    • Cosmic rays
    • Trapped particles
    • Solar X-rays and gamma ray flares
    • Albedo gamma rays and neutrons

“The effects of radiation are part of the price of doing business in space. There are solar flares, random magnetic distortions, and what some NASA scientists call the ‘killer electrons’ of the Van Allen radiation belts. The place where S/C are most vulnerable, though is the … South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA), centered 300 km off the coast of Brazil. To avoid exposing astronauts to intense radiation, spacewalks are not scheduled on the ISS when its passing through the Anomaly – which happens two to five times a day.” The Bermuda Triangle of Space: the high-energy SAA threatens satellites; 12 Mar 2013, Jim Hodges, C4ISR Digital Edition, Defense News [http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130312/C4ISR01/303120028/The-Bermud....

SWORD as applied to MARS

  • Model dose to MARS dosimeters and include effects of material nearby and from entire International Space Station (ISS)
  • Model dose to solar cells
  • Establish correlation between dose to MARS and solar cells