INFN Sezione di Roma 2
Universita'  di Roma Tor Vergata"

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Beam Tests of SilEye2 in Uppsala - June 1997 
 From left Gianluca Furano, Yuri Ozerov, Vladimir Shabelnikov, Alexander Popov, Aldo Morselli, Enzo Reali
Sergej Avdjeev on the MIR Space Station with the SilEye2 apparatus
 (more photos in the photos gallery ) 

During the Apollo missions and on a few occasions during Skylab, the crews, after some minutes of dark adaptation, observed brief flashes of white light or pencil-thin  streaks of light. Since the   first experiments the crucial importance of the determination of the exact nature and causes of  LF was clear.  Even now the continuing studies both on ground  accelerators and in space have not reached a complete understanding of these complex phenomena. Aside for the scientific interest of this project,  physical, biological and medical goals are of primary importance for manned space flight. Are they mere flashes similar to other visual observations we make continuously and represent no danger? Does each flash imply the destruction of one or more retinal cells? Are the flashes observed and the resultant damage, although potentially serious in itself, indicative of even more damaging interactions of HZE (high Z energetic) particles with other tissues, e.g. , the brain?
Similar questions linked to the general hazard in space problem require  detailed studies, especially  in view of Mars exploration.

 To address these issues it is necessary to employ a system which - in conjuction with the human observer - is capable of direction, energy and particle identification. These requirements, as well as the  typical power, weight and safety  restrictions can be met with the use of silicon strip  detector technology.
This is what  SilEye is.