AVIATION RADIATION

Automated assessments of in-flight radiation exposures for
Commercial Airlines

automated assessment


the hazard

The Earth's atmosphere and magnetic field protects us from a hostile space radiation environment:

  • Galactic cosmic radiation (GCR) is omnipresent. The GCR intensity varies with latitude, longitude, and time of year due to effects of solar activity on the interplanetary magnetic field.
  • Solar radiation is significant during unpredictable and short lived solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs).

Space radiation collides with gases in the atmosphere, leading to a complex shower of high energy radiation. Excessive exposure to radiation can damage DNA and lead to long-term health effects such as an increased risk of cancer.

regulatory protections

Radiation levels at altitudes used by commercial, cargo, business, and military aircraft are greater than at sea level due to cosmic rays, and aircrew are classified as radiation workers in some countries.

In Europe, Section OPS 1.390 of the European Union COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 859/2008 and Council Directive 96/29/Euratom outlines the standards for the protection of workers from ionizing radiation exposures. Assessments are a regulatory requirement.

In South Korea, the Living Environment Radiation Control Act includes obligations for airlines to record, store, and report radiation exposure data and includes penalty provisions for violations of the Act.

Our API and Enterprise Service solutions help our customers to monitor the well being of their teams, and to comply with regulations.

api integration

Assessing cosmic radiation exposures of aircrew is complex and can disrupt business processes such as rostering and record keeping due to the need for external consultants.

Our web API connects your existing software, whether crew management, flight planning, SaaS platform, or mobile app, to a validated model of cosmic radiation in the atmosphere using standard interfaces.

Rather than waiting hours or days for aviation dose calculations, and exchanging data files with third parties, your own software can assess exposures automatically via our API.

We offer a 14 day free trial with ongoing subscriptions starting from $200 per month and supported by a Service Level Agreement. Read the OpenAPI specification here and sign up for an API account below.

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enterprise service

Let us manage the assessments for you. We prepare on-demand, customised reports of radiation exposures to aircrew and passengers using validated models of cosmic radiation in the atmosphere combined with your planned or actual flight data, ensuring compliance with radiation safety regulations. We use our own automation tools to streamline the process with rapid turn-around times on reporting. We price by fleet size at 1000 AUD per aircraft per year.

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solar modulation


improving accuracy using antarctic measurements

The interplanetary magnetic field is a result of the solar wind produced by our Sun.

The Heliocentric Potential (HP) describes the level of shielding that the interplanetary magnetic field provides us from galactic cosmic rays. The greater the HP value, the lower the radiation dose at the same altitude. The HP value is modulated by the solar cycle.

Neutron monitoring stations tell us how much residual cosmic radiation there is at ground level. High latitude stations (e.g. Antarctica) provide the clearest picture due to the minimal geomagnetic shielding.

Our Aviation Radiation API uses official HP values from the US FAA. We predict our own values to ensure dose calculations can be made for today's date (in case of delayed release of official values). Our automated data management system fetches real-time neutron monitor data from the Australian Antarctic Division and feeds that into a machine-learning pipeline that predicts current HP values.

The figure to the right shows the official and predicted HP values that we use in our radiation calculations.

a white wing in a yellow box - the logo of hello icaro - science driven technology to improve safety, sustainability, and efficiency, in aviation.

scientific studies


We validate the API and underlying models against published experimental data and benchmarking against other codes.

Results were presented at the 5th International Symposium on the System of Radiological Protection (ICRP2019).

View our poster online below

A scientific poster that compares model predictions and sensor measurements of cosmic radiation in ther atmosphere