Radiation's Effects


iss columbia labAstronaut Rick Mastracchio in the International Space Station's Columbus Lab. credit: NASA

Testing the effects of radiation exposure on aerospace electronics

Since the 1970s, Crocker Nuclear Laboratory has been providing users such as Los Alamos National Laboratory, NASA and Ball Aerospace and Technologies, Inc., access to our 76-inch, variable-energy isochronous cyclotron for testing the effects of radiation exposure on electronic equipment destined for deployment in spacecraft.

In our radiation effects facility we can provide proton energies ranging from 4 MeV to 67.5 MeV to the device under test (DUT). The machine’s unique tunability at these lower energy levels makes it ideally suited for simulating a range of radiation conditions encountered in space, such as Earth orbit environments, solar radiation, and the outer solar-system environments explored by deep space probes.

In addition to its proton beam, the cyclotron can also generate neutron, deuteron, helion and alpha beams.

Our goal is to provide an optimal experience for each of our customers

This is reflected in our reservations policy: Reservations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis, and no reservation will be bumped after it has been confirmed. When you test your electronics here, you have exclusive use of the beam, ensuring that your work will never be interrupted by other users.

The facility is normally available year round, with a two-week shutdown period in January and another in July. The radiation effects beamline calendar can be reviewed here.

Please refer to the “New Users” section of the website for information on how to secure an agreement to schedule cyclotron use.

Guide to Infrastructure and FAQs

For a comprehensive description of the facility and its infrastructure, beam properties, how testing is set up and conducted, FAQs on scheduling, administration, loading dock access, and a host of other details, see our 17-page guide, “UC Davis 76-Inch Isochronous Cyclotron: Radiation Effects Infrastructure.”


For additional information on the radiation effects facility or to schedule an experiment please contact:

Mail: Crocker Nuclear Laboratory, University Of California, Davis CA 95616-8569