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Ballistic limit equation for equipment placed behind satellite structure walls

: Schäfer, F.K.; Ryan, S.; Lambert, M.; Putzar, R.


Schonberg, W.P.:
Hypervelocity impact. Proceedings of the 2007 symposium : Williamsburg, Virginia, 23 - 27 September 2007
Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2008 (International journal of impact engineering 35.2008, Nr.12)
Hypervelocity Impact Symposium (HVIS) <10, 2007, Williamsburg/Va.>
Konferenzbeitrag, Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Fraunhofer EMI ()

A new ballistic limit equation has been developed for the case of a Whipple shield configuration or a sandwich panel with honeycomb core placed in front of a backwall. This "triple plate" ballistic limit equation considers explicitly the thicknesses, materials and spacings of each of the three plates. The third plate, i.e., the backwall, represents the cover plate or external wall of the equipment that is placed behind the satellite structure wall. The ballistic limit equation has been calibrated with experimental results obtained from hypervelocity impact tests on satellite equipment that was placed behind typical satellite structure walls. The equipment considered were fuel and heat pipes, pressure vessels, electronic boxes, harness, and batteries, all representative of real satellite equipment. The new equation was applied to prove that if the inherent protection capability of satellite equipment against hypervelocity impacts is explicitly considered in a ballistic limit equation, the critical projectile diameters for failure of such equipment are raised considerably compared to the case where equipment is assumed to fail as soon as the structure wall that protects it is perforated.