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Recent calculations indicate that the dose equivalent in an enclosed, shielded environment in a galactic cosmic ray field will increase or remain unchanged when shielding thickness increases beyond 20 to 30 g/cm2. This trend is seen out to 100 g/cm2, beyond which calculations were not run since depths greater than this are not envisioned for human missions in deep space. If these calculations are accurate, then an optimal shielding thickness (or narrow range of thicknesses) exists, with important implications for spacecraft and habitat design. Crucially, the calculation reveals a minimum dose equivalent value that cannot be reduced with added shielding, leaving mission duration as the only means of controlling accumulated dose equivalent so as to remain within recommended limits. In order to provide a benchmark set of experimental data that can be used to quantify the uncertainties in the calculations and provide some level of verification of their predictions, we have designed a series of experiments at the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory at Brookhaven National Laboratory to measure the light ion production created by GCR-like beams incident on a two-target system that mimics an enclosed, shielded environment. This paper gives detailed descriptions of the experimental configurations to provide accurate input data for transport models. Subsequent articles report the measurement results and comparisons to models.

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