The March 7th, 2012 X5.4 flare
Context. Solar activity poses substantial risk for astronauts of the International Space Station (ISS) both on board and during extravehicular activity. An accurate assessment of the charged radiation flux in space habitats is necessary to determine the risk and the specific type of radiation exposure of ISS crew members, and to develop ways to protect future crews for planetary missions, even in case of high solar activity.
Aims. To reduce the present-day uncertainties about the nature and magnitude of the particle fluxes in space habitats during a solar event, it is fundamental to measure those fluxes in situ.
Methods. The ALTEA (Anomalous Long Term Effects on Astronauts) experiment on board the ISS is an active detector composed of six silicon telescopes and is able to follow the dynamics of the radiation flux. During its operation in 2012 a number of flux peaks were detected in correspondence with solar events.
Results. We present in this work an analysis of the ALTEA data measured during the March 7th, 2012 solar event, produced by NOAA AR11429.
Conclusions. During this event, the flux was enhanced tenfold with respect to ‘‘quiet Sun’’ conditions, producing strong dose increases at high geomagnetic latitudes.