SEPRAD - Workshop


Nowcast of Radiation Exposure at Aviation Altitudes with AVIDOS


Marcin Latocha
Seibersdorf Labor GmbH, Seibersdorf, Austria


Radiation environment at aviation altitudes is formed mainly by galactic cosmic radiation (GCR) coming from outside of our solar system, yet solar influence cannot be neglected. The approximately 11-years cycle of solar activity modulates the flux of GCR resulting in a regular pattern of slightly lower and higher radiation exposure. Phenomena like solar flares or coronal mass ejections are sources of solar high-energy particles (SEP). These rare but intensive SEP events may lead to short-term but significantly enhanced radiation levels in the Earth’s atmosphere. Radiation effects caused by strong SEP events that are detectable on the Earth's surface are called Ground Level Enhancements (GLEs).

Nowcasting and forecasting of space weather induced radiation environment in Earth’s atmosphere is of great importance for radiation protection institutions, aviation, governmental organizations and research. There are already good methods and tools for a prediction of radiation exposure levels due to GCR. There is, however, no satisfactory prediction of radiation effects when considering SEP events. Therefore, investigations of the relations between events on the Sun and radiation effects in Earth orbits, atmosphere and on the ground are necessary to improve prediction models in order to timely provide reliable information.

Seibersdorf Laboratories developed the software AVIDOS (aviation dosimetry). AVIDOS is a web service of the Seibersdorf Laboratories federated with ESA’s Space Weather portal [1]. It is an online, informational and educational software for the assessment of cosmic radiation exposure on-board aircrafts. In its current version, AVIDOS can assess radiation exposure in atmosphere due to GCR for up to one year in advance [2]. AVIDOS also provides nowcast information on radiation exposure due to SEP. The solution developed by Seibersdorf Laboratories is based on a simulation model coupled with real-time data from a neutron monitor station and a real-time GLE-alerting service [3]. The presentation will provide information on the latest advancements in AVIDOS – its usability, performance, implemented models, as well as future developments.


[1] AVIDOS at ESA Space Weather Portal
[2] M. Latocha, P. Beck, Forecasting and Nowcasting of Radiation Exposure On-Board Aircraft, presented at
the13th ESWW, Ostende, Belgium, Nov. 2016
[3] M. Latocha, P. Beck, Cosmic Radiation Assessment at ESA’s Space Weather Portal with AVIDOS, IEEE TNS proceedings of the RADECS 2016 Bremen, Germany, Sep. 2016


The development of AVIDOS was supported by the European Space Agency (ESA Contract: No. 44000105734/12/D/MRP), the Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport and Innovation, and the Austrian Agency for Aviation and Space (ALR) as part of the Austrian Promotion Agency, FFG.