Accession Number:

ADA209721

Title:

Monitoring Sources of Nuclear Radiation in Space. Part 1. Early 1984 Observations. Revision

Descriptive Note:

Memorandum rept.

Corporate Author:

NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1989-05-31

Pagination or Media Count:

14.0

Abstract:

Nuclear radiation from the reactor-powered satellite COSMOS 1579 has been monitored by the gamma-ray spectrometer GRS on NASAs Solar Maximum Mission satellite SMM. Gamma rays from the RORSAT were detected about every 4 days as it passed within about 500 km of SMM. In addition, events attributed to positrons emitted from the outer shell of COSMOS 1579 were detected on the average of once every about 1.5 days. These positrons were detected at large distances or 5000 km from COSMOS after being stored in the earths magnetic field for seconds or minutes. The rate of the positron detections is about a factor of two higher than observed for most of the earlier RORSATs detected by SMM. At present, this increase is unexplained. The qualitative features of the measured gamma-ray spectrum from COSMOS 1579 are similar to those of preceding satellites however, the spectral features are clearer. A model is presented for the origin of these features which suggests the presence of significant amounts of beryllium, sodium, potassium, molybdenum and lithium andor hydrogen lying with tens of gmsq. cm of material. There is also spectral evidence for the presence of either iron or aluminum. Based on this model we obtain a conservative lower limit to the thermal power of the reactor on COSMOS 1579. This lower limit is 30 kW.

Subject Categories:

  • Nuclear Instrumentation
  • Radioactivity, Radioactive Wastes and Fission Products
  • Astronautics
  • Unmanned Spacecraft

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE