Gruppo 5 - Sezione di Genova




Space Radiation Superconducting Shield

an INFN research project funded by CSN5

connected to the EU FP7 project SR2S



Space radiation represents a serious health problem for the crews of future, long term missions in deep space. While effective shielding strategies exist for the Solar Particle Events, it is difficult to design an effective shielding for the Galactic Cosmic Rays (CGR), which are the dominant source of the dose (> 500 mSv/y) for a long duration mission.

Different radiation shielding strategies have been devised that may be classified as passive and active shields: the former are based on the ionization losses in materials of sufficiently depth to stop the incident particles, the latter uses electric or magnetic field to deflect the charged particles. Due to their large mass, passive shields for large volume habitable modules are no longer an option and the attention is focused on the more complex, technologically challenging active systems.

Among the possible solutions, the more promising is based on huge superconducting coils a bending power sufficient to deflect out of the cockpit charged particles with kinetic energy in the order of 1 GeV.

The operation environment requires a magnet system fulfilling peculiar characteristics: it must be light, stable and must safely guarantee an endurance of at least 2 years. Moreover, being its dimension too large for a single launch, it must be composed by subcomponents that can be assembled in orbit.

The choice of the material and in particular of the conductor is of primary importance: low mass density and stability require the use of HTS coated conductors or titanium clad MgB2 which, in addition, would overcome the problems related to liquid helium cryogenics.  The SR2S team is oriented towards the use of MgB2.



Contact person:

Riccardo Musenich

INFN - Sezione di Genova

via Dodecaneso 33

16146 - Genova, Italy

phone +39 010 353 6445







link to



The INFN team:


Marco Guerzoni

Carlo Crescentini

Giuliano Laurenti


Piero Spillantini
Paolo Papini


Riccardo Musenich
Stefania Farinon


Massimo Sorbi


Filippo Ambroglini

William Burger


Piero Rapagnani


Gerbaldo Roberto

Ghigo Gianluca

Gozzelino Laura

Pagliero Alessandro

Rabezzana Roberto

Truccato Marco


Roberto Battiston (P.I. of EU PF7 SR2S project)