Our atmosphere protects us from a hostile space radiation environment comprised of high energy particles of solar and intergalactic origin:
Space radiation collides with the nuclei of gases in the atmosphere, leading to a cascade of nuclear and electromagnetic reactions. The result is a complex shower of high energy radiation, the intensity and composition of which varies with altitude.
Excessive exposure to radiation can damage DNA and lead to long-term health effects such as an increased risk of cancer.
Radiation levels at altitudes used by commercial aircraft are greater than at sea level and aircrew are classified as radiation workers in some countries; however, planning to limit their exposure, and monitoring, is generally lacking.
Both real-time measurements and predictive modelling of radiation in the atmosphere are important to mitigate the radiation risk posed to assets and crew.
Amentum Aerospace has developed a RESTful API to a validated predictive model of cosmic radiation in the atmosphere. The API calculates radiation doses and other quantities on a particular date, latitude, longitude, and altitude.