Radiation modeling of novel insulating and conductive materials for SGEMP applications

Sanchez, Jose Shiloh
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Due to the unique features of the system generated electromagnetic pulse and its effects on electronics and electrical systems, much research and design efforts have gone into studying and developing radiation hardened systems that can withstand or limit the damage from this phenomenon. Since the time that above ground nuclear weapon testing was banned in the United States, systems of codes and simulators have been developed to overcome this limitation for studying transient radiation electronic effects. However, these codes are not suitable for general treatments, as they are usually developed to solve a specific problem with specific environments, geometry, and materials. Instead, more modern radiation transport codes can be used to model the creation of this type of radiation and study its effects. This thesis describes the use of the Monte Carlo N-Particle Transport code developed by Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Integrated TIGER Series codes developed by Sandia National Laboratories for modeling novel materials to be used in the absorption or insulation of electrons that generate the system generated electromagnetic pulse. Measurements of the electron flux inside a stack system consisting of novel materials LORD UltraC and LORD E343 on an Al 6021 substrate were made for various geometry set-ups with an 80 keV X-ray source and stainless 316L steel background. Results were compared to a polyethylene based stack system. Furthermore, the atomic reaction identification from the various X-ray interactions with the environment and the stack system were recorded to determine the effectiveness of the insulative/conductive properties of these novel materials. Results of this parametric study proved adequate for simulating the electron production in the environment and the stack system response, including the effectiveness of the insulating and conductive materials on the stack system. Overall, the pattern of the measured electron flux for the various stack geometries are similar between both codes but differ by magnitude, which might be explained by the difference in the photo-electron reaction databases and the indexing algorithm for when the cross-sections are generated for both codes. Application for both these radiation transport codes can likely be extended to real systems, such as satelites, cables, and electronic systems to provide more detailed studies on system generated electromagnetic pulse hardened materials.