2021/6/16  
英文 English 
Cancer treatment center in Taoyuan becomes radiation lab for space industry (2021/05/05)

A cutting-edge cancer treatment center in Taoyuan has found another use as a lab for the space industry. Doctors at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital founded the Proton and Radiation Therapy Center to treat cancer patients. But now a new lab helps the National Space Organization test components for satellites. And even NASA is asking to use their equipment.

A rocket takes off, carrying a satellite into space. Just one danger for satellites is a thing called a Van Allen radiation belt. These zones of charged particles can damage electrical components, effectively destroying satellites in orbit. But Taiwan now boasts a lab that mimics the conditions of those belts.

Here at the Institute for Radiological Research, there are four treatment rooms offering proton radiotherapy to cancer patients – on the weekdays. At weekends, the mysterious fifth laboratory opens. But the subject here is not the human body – it’s electrics.

Prof. Tung Chuan-jong
Chang Gung Radiological Research Inst.
The energy of the beam in proton therapy is 70 to 230MeV, which happens to be very similar to the proton radiation spectrum in space. We bring the equipment we use for therapy into the fifth room to carry out tests on electrical semiconductors.

When the Proton and Radiation Therapy Center was opened, it was intended purely for cancer treatment. Later it partnered with the National Space Organization to add on the fifth lab, upgrading Taiwan’s space research potential.

Dr. Lin Chien-yu
Chang Gung Radiological Research Inst.
The electrical components on artificial satellites must all be tested with high energy proton radiation. It needs to be able to function normally under high energy radiation, for us to use it in a mission.

In the past, Taiwan-made components would be sent abroad for these tests, adding to the expense and delaying the project. Now it can all be sorted within Taiwan.

Prof. Tung Chuan-jong
Chang Gung Radiological Research Inst.
The labs abroad are in high demand. You can’t just get in there anytime. Usually, you’re on a waiting list for six months or a year. And it’s very rushed and very expensive. In the future, if we want to greatly expand our space industry and foster our space industry, this is essential. We have to carry out these tests. Otherwise foreign manufacturers probably won’t buy our products.

Currently, thanks to its brand-new equipment, the fifth lab is taking jobs from all round the world – even from NASA. It’s truly a milestone achievement for Taiwan’s nascent space industry.


中文 Chinese  
神秘第五實驗室藏身長庚質子放射治療中心

林口長庚醫院的質子放射治療中心,平日對病患進行癌症治療,一到假日,搖身變成神秘的第五實驗室,兼差檢測電子元件,模擬外太空的輻射環境,專門測試這些電子零件能否對抗高輻射環境,要在未來10年打造台灣太空產業國家隊。

火箭升空,發射人造衛星,然而在地球周圍,其實有著高能量的范艾倫輻射帶。要是電子元件無法承受高輻射,衛星就會失去功能,形同報廢。傳說台灣只有一間"神秘實驗室",能夠模擬太空環境。

林口長庚質子治療放射中心,平日有四間治療室,專門替癌症病患做質子治療消滅癌細胞,一到假日,就會開啟神秘的第五實驗室,這裡不殺癌細胞,改射電子元件。

[[長庚大學放射醫學研究院院長 董傳中]]
“質子治療用的質子射束的能量,70MeV到230MeV,正好跟太空中質子輻射能譜是接近的。把我們治療用的質子引到第五間來,然後能夠做半導體的測試。”

長庚啟用質子治療中心起初只用於治療癌症,後來和太空中心合作,規畫加蓋第五間實驗室,讓台灣也有環境能做輻射檢驗。

[[林口長庚醫院粒子物理照射核心實驗室主任 林倩伃]]
“人造衛星上的電子元件,都需要經由高能質子照射服務測試。如果在高能照射之後,它還可以維持正常運作,我們這樣才可以把它放上去執行任務。”

過去本土電子元件要到國外檢測,耗時耗錢,如今在台灣就能一手包辦。

[[長庚大學放射醫學研究院院長 董傳中]]
“國外實驗室也很吃緊,並不是隨時要去往往一排,就是排到半年一年之後,而且時間非常緊費用非常高。以後要大力發展這個太空產業,扶植我們太空產業,這是必須的,一定要經過這個測試,否則國外廠商不太可能買你的產品。”

如今第五實驗室,不只接國內廠商的電子元件,由於設備最新,美國NASA也曾是客戶之一,透過長庚和太空中心的合作計畫,寫下台灣進軍國際太空產業的里程碑。


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