peer reviewedaudience: researcher, professional, studentSpace electronic systems employ enclosures to shield sensitive components from space radiation. The purpose of shielding is to attenuate the energy and the flux of ionizing radiation as they pass through the shield material, such that the energy per unit mass (or dose) absorbed in silicon is sufficiently below the maximum dose ratings of electronic components. The received radiation amount varies significantly depending on several variables that include mission parameters (orbit, altitude, inclination and duration), spacecraft design (spacecraft wall thickness and panel-enclosure location). To achieve the optimum shielding with the minimum weight, all these variables have to be considered in the design. Energetic particles, mainly electrons and protons, can destroy or cause malfunctions in spacecraft electronics. The standard practice in space hardware is the use of aluminium as both a radiation shield and structural enclosure. Composite structures show potential for significant mass savings. However, conventional graphite epoxy composites are not as efficient shielding materials as aluminium because of their lower density, that is, for the same mass, composites provide 30 to 40% less radiation attenuation than aluminium. A solution is to embed high density (atomic weight) material into the laminate. This material, typically metallic material, can be dispersed in the composite or used as layers in the laminate (foils). The main objective of the “Radiation Shielding of Composite Space Enclosures” (SIDER) project is the development of the technologies and tools required to obtain lightweight, safe, robust and reliable composite structures. Two different strategies are being analysed as alternatives for radiation shielding: and he incorporation of a high density material foil. This paper will present and analyse the radiation shielding obtained by the incorporation of nanomaterials in composite structures
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