Engineers found a trivial way to save the electronics from cosmic radiation. New coverage of polymers and metal oxides protect from radiation better than traditional screens.

Achievement is described in a scientific paper published in the journal Radiation Physics and Chemistry Michael devanzo (Michael DeVanzo) from Lockheed Martin Space and Robert Hayes (Robert Hayes) from the University of North Carolina.

the Space beyond the Earth’s atmosphere is permeated with charged particles and quanta x-ray and gamma radiation. They are a serious problem for electronics. So, according to the official version, they destroyed the Russian probe “Phobos-Grunt”.

space engineers can’t pack the electronic circuit in thick lead sheath, because of the spacecraft in every gram counts. So far the best compromise between weight and efficiency was considered to be aluminium protection. However, experts are constantly seeking new solutions: lighter, more efficient, and so on.

a New coating is acrylic with added oxides of various metals. The last — almost rust, just not talking about iron, and other substances.

As shown by computer simulation, with particle energies up to 10 Kev, a shield reduces radiation gamma radiation 300 times, and neutrons — 225%. In outer space, objects are not subjected to bombardment by neutrons, but this type of radiation often used for testing radiation protection.

“Our approach can be used to maintain the same level of radiation protection while reducing weight by 30% or more, or you can keep the same weight and to improve the protection of 30% or more compared to the most widely used methods of screening,” says Hayes.

the Authors tested three compounds: gadolinium oxide Gd2O3, tungsten oxide WO3 and erbium oxide Er2O3. The most promising, considering the weight and cost, was recognized as the first propheticthe EU ETS.

As the researchers note, pure metals instead of oxides would provide even better protection. But scientists have good reason to put on “rust”.

“Powder of metal oxides provides less protection than a metal powder, but the oxides are less toxic and do not create electromagnetic interference that can interfere with the operation of the device,” explains Hayes.

in addition, pure metals are much more expensive.

Now researchers are looking for partners to bring development to the commercial version.

By the way, earlier “Conduct.Science” ( wrote that cosmic radiation may boost your brainpower.

Note also that the company Lockheed Martin Space is widely known for its aerospace engineering. So, we wrote about the lunar module.

Text: To.Science