The Delayed Gamma Environment Produced by Exoatmospheric Nuclear Weapons Detonation,
SANDIA NATIONAL LABS ALBUQUERQUE NM
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The production of delayed gamma ray radiation from the debris following a nuclear weapon detonation in space can produce an environment that is detrimental to various sensor systems on space-based assets. This report examines the nature of this delayed gamma environment and provides guidelines for assessing its severity. A full derivation of the environment is presented- based on a simple symmetric model. Included in the environment are single burst and multiburst scenarios and an estimate of the radiation resulting from the distributed weapon debris and the debris plated out on the space-based asset. All results are presented in parametric form to allow -them to be applied directly to a wide range of engagement scenarios. A brief discussion of the nature of required shielding. to survive a gamma environment is presented. Methods of mitigating the radiation environment are discussed. The report concludes that levels in excess of 1011 MeVcm2.s per calcm2 x-ray will exist for several seconds after a burst. In the event of a multiburst scenario, gamma dose rates of approximately 1012 MeVcm2.s can be expected for each calcm2 per second of prompt dose received during the time of the scenario. These results show that it will be necessary to provide mitigation of the debris environment or shielding against it to achieve functional sensor systems during a nuclear engagement.
- Nuclear Warfare
- Nuclear Weapons
- Nuclear Physics and Elementary Particle Physics