HAMLET Project Description

Mission statement

The aim of HAMLET is the effective scientific exploitation of data obtained from the ESA MATROSHKA project. This will be achieved by bringing together leading European scientists in the field of space dosimetry to increase and enhance the output of the project and present it to the European scientific community as well as the public audience.


The European Space Agency’s (ESA) project MATROSHKA (MTR), dedicated to determining the radiation load on astronauts within and outside the International Space Station (ISS), was launched in January 2004 and is currently in its third experimental phase. MTR, which mimics a human head and torso, is an anthropomorphic phantom containing over 6000 radiation detectors to determine the depth dose and organ dose distribution in the body. MTR is the largest international research initiative ever performed in the field of space dosimetry and combines the expertise of leading research institutions around the world. It consequently generates a huge pool of data of potentially immense value for research. Aiming at optimal scientific exploitation, the collaborative project HAMLET will bring together a European expert committee, consisting exclusively of members of the MTR consortium, to process and compile the data acquired individually, partly under national funding by the participating laboratories. Based on experimental input as well as on radiation transport calculations, a three-dimensional model for the distribution of radiation dose in an astronaut’s body will be built up. The results describe the exposure conditions both for extra-vehicular activities (MTR-1, 2004–2005) and inside the ISS (MTR-2A/B, 2006–2008). The scientific achievements contribute essentially to radiation risk estimations for future interplanetary space exploration by humans, putting them on a solid experimental and theoretical basis. Maximum public outreach shall be assured by making the carefully processed data and related reports directly available to the scientific community and the public via a web-based database.

The HAMLET project is funded by the European Commission under the EU’s
Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) and coordinated by the
German Aerospace Center (DLR)

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