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Satellite vulnerability to space debris - an improved 3D risk assessment methodology

: Grassi, Lilith; Tiboldo, Francesca; Destefanis, Roberto; Donath, Thérèse; Winterboer, Arne; Evans, Leanne; Janovsky, Rolf; Kempf, Scott; Rudolph, Martin; Schäfer, Frank; Gelhaus, Johannes


Acta astronautica 99 (2014), S.283-291
ISSN: 0094-5765
European Commission EC
FP7; 262820; P2-ROTECT
Fraunhofer EMI ()

The work described in the present paper, performed as a part of the P²-ROTECT project, presents an enhanced method to evaluate satellite vulnerability to micrometeoroids and orbital debris (MMOD), using the ESABASE2/Debris tool (developed under ESA contract). Starting from the estimation of induced failures on spacecraft (S/C) components and from the computation of lethal impacts (with an energy leading to the loss of the satellite), and considering the equipment redundancies and interactions between components, the debris-induced S/C functional impairment is assessed.
The developed methodology, illustrated through its application to a case study satellite, includes the capability to estimate the number of failures on internal components, overcoming the limitations of current tools which do not allow propagating the debris cloud inside the S/C. The ballistic limit of internal equipment behind a sandwich panel structure is evaluated through the implementation of the Schäfer Ryan Lambert (SRL) Ballistic Limit Equation (BLE).