New metamaterial will protect astronauts from cosmic radiation

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2017-07-04 17:30:05

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New metamaterial will protect astronauts from cosmic radiation

Open space is not very suitable for life of people the place. But this does not prevent earth scientists to invent new ways to protect the fragile human body against the major hazards of space. Once in space, astronauts experience a number of inconveniences. For example, low gravity breaks the usual work of the body, and high levels of radiation increases the risk of cancer and other diseases. That's why a team of researchers from the Australian national University have developed the ability to dynamically reflect radiation.

The Radiation emanating from the Sun and other sources, has always been one of the main problems for scientists who plan space missions. The spacesuits of astronauts, space stations and even different tools not just covered with a thick layer of protective materials. This makes the movement of people in space is extremely clumsy, and bulky equipment. And it is far from ideal, which for decades eager explorers. It would be great to create a thin material capable of protecting the astronaut from harmful radiation, but it does not hinder his movements.

And the material was really created. It effectively protects against radiation, but it is incredibly thin. In fact, this film is created from nanoparticles that reflect light waves of a certain length. In this case we are talking about the ultraviolet and infrared radiation. Different layers of film can prevent the penetration of light through them, and the user is able to adjust settings of material, changing its temperature. Cooling or, conversely, heating the new material, the nanoparticles are compressed and expanded, becoming less or more reflective.

Now scientists have a new challenge: how to integrate the metamaterial heating elements. Regulation of temperature is achievable in several ways (for example, using a sewn in material microaggregates), but so far scientists have not determined exactly how best to regulate the reflection efficiency of different radiations. Despite the fact that the material will protect astronauts from infrared and ultraviolet radiation, it will be helpless in the face of high-energy particles. However, existing suits from them, too, not defend. In any case will increase the current level of protection and make future models of the suit less bulky.

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