A brief overview of cosmic radiation cause and effect and legislative requirements for airline operators. Airliner crew cosmic radiation exposure depends on the aircraft altitude, geographical position and the Sun’s activity. This is because cosmic radiation at the upper regions of the earth’s atmosphere is comprised of two components, continuous ionizing galactic radiation and sporadic solar radiation component, which together contribute to the total radiation field effect. The intensity of cosmic rays is affected by the variation in the interplanetary magnetic field during an 11-year cycle of solar activity. Therefore crew exposure to cosmic radiation fluctuates over an 11 year solar cycle.
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