Possessing scientific and technological know-how, the Centre for Energy Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA EK) is able to provide answers and offer solutions to the measurements of cosmic rays and space weather investigations as well as to industrial needs.
The research group and its predecessors – one of the very first groups performing space research activities in Hungary – have more than four decades of heritage in developing and manufacturing flight hardware. Scientific equipment and subassemblies of scientific payloads were developed, among others, for the Soviet Vega–1, –2 mission to Comet Halley (Plasmag particle analyser), the Soviet Phobos–1 and –2 space probes (HARP particle spectrometer, TAUS particle analyser) and Lander Philae of ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft to comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko (SPM simple plasma monitor, DIM dust impact monitor).
The Pille thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD) system is the first and – to date the only – TLD system designed specifically for use by astronauts while working in space. Different generations of the system have been operating on space stations Salyut–6, –7, Mir and the International Space Station (as part of the service dosimetry system in the Russian segment since 2003), as well as on the Soyuz spacecraft and the Space Shuttle.
Measurements were performed by the TRITEL three-dimensional silicon detector telescope in the Russian segment of the ISS and the Columbus module and a satellite version of the instrument has been also developed.
Complex radiation measurement and dosimetry systems comprising Geiger-Müller counters and/or three-dimensional silicon detector systems (TRITEL) have been flown on board stratospheric research balloons (BEXUS–12, –14) and on sounding rocket (REXUS–17) to perform dosimetry and space weather studies. With the expected growth in higher altitude air flights as well as the start of commercial suborbital space flights in the near future, dosimetry measurements in the altitude range up to 200 km become increasingly important.
So do space weather studies, as space weather has significant effects on ground infrastructures, such as power grids and telecommunication. Space research activities at MTA EK, therefore, also shifted into these directions in the recent years