University of Oulu

Makrantoni, P., Tezari, A., Stassinakis, A. N., Paschalis, P., Gerontidou, M., Karaiskos, P., Georgakilas, A. G., Mavromichalaki, H., Usoskin, I. G., Crosby, N., & Dierckxsens, M. (2022). Estimation of cosmic-ray-induced atmospheric ionization and radiation at commercial aviation flight altitudes. Applied Sciences, 12(11), 5297.

Estimation of cosmic-ray-induced atmospheric ionization and radiation at commercial aviation flight altitudes

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Author: Makrantoni, Panagiota1; Tezari, Anastasia1,2; Stassinakis, Argyris N.1;
Organizations: 1Athens Cosmic Ray Group, Faculty of Physics, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 15784 Athens, Greece
2Eugenides Foundation, 17564 Athens, Greece
3Medical Physics Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 11517 Athens, Greece
4DNA Damage Laboratory, Physics Department, School of Applied Mathematical and Physical Sciences, National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Zografou, Athens 15780, Greece
5Space Physics and Astronomy Research Unit and Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, University of Oulu, FIN-90014 Oulu, Finland
6Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, 1180 Brussels, Belgium
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-02-15


The main source of the ionization of the Earth’s atmosphere is the cosmic radiation that depends on solar activity as well as geomagnetic activity. Galactic cosmic rays constitute a permanent radiation background and contribute significantly to the radiation exposure inside the atmosphere. In this work, the cosmic-ray-induced ionization of the Earth’s atmosphere, due to both solar and galactic cosmic radiation during the recent solar cycles 23 (1996–2008) and 24 (2008–2019), was studied globally. Estimations of the ionization were based on the CRAC:CRII model by the University of Oulu. The use of this model allowed for extensive calculations from the Earth’s surface (atmospheric depth 1033 g/cm2) to the upper limit of the atmosphere (atmospheric depth 0 g/cm2). Monte Carlo simulations were performed for the estimation quantities of radiobiological interest with the validated software DYASTIMA/DYASTIMA-R. This study was focused on specific altitudes of interest, such as the common flight levels used by commercial aviation.

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Series: Applied sciences
ISSN: 2076-3417
ISSN-E: 2076-3417
ISSN-L: 2076-3417
Volume: 12
Issue: 11
Article number: 5297
DOI: 10.3390/app12115297
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 115 Astronomy and space science
Copyright information: © 2022 by the authors. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (