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Experimentelle Simulation von Orbital Debris Impacts am Ernst-Mach-Institut

Orbital debris impact simulation experiments at the Ernst-Mach-Institute
: Kitta, K.; Schneider, E.; Stilp, A.J.
: Fraunhofer-Institut für Kurzzeitdynamik, Ernst-Mach-Institut -EMI-, Freiburg/Brsg.

Freiburg/Brsg., 1991, 11 S. : Abb.,Lit.
EMI-Berichte, 9/91
Workshop on Hypervelocity Impacts in Space <1991, Canterbury>
Fraunhofer EMI ()
Columbus; hypervelocity; impact; light gas gun; meteoroid; orbital debris; protection; shielding; space station

Long-term space flight activities in low earth orbit are confronted with the increasing threat of orbital debris impacts. The new generation of large, manned space vehicles and expensive unmanned satellites as well need an effective protection against high velocity debris and micrometeoroid impacts. Development of design rules for protection shields requires both impact experiments and numerical impact simulation. The Ernst-Mach-Institut contributes to this topic under contract with ESA by several experimental studies. For hypervelocity impact experiments, light gas guns of different calibers are available. They cover the lower part of the velocity distribution of orbital debris up to about 10 km/s. Projectiles within a mass range of milligrams to grams are applied. Besides devices for projectile velocity measurement the accelerators are also equipped with cameras for high speed optical and x-ray photography. Presently investigations are carried out for the meteoroid and debris protect ion shield of the ESA laboratory module Columbus. The main field of work - a parametric study concerns various impact experiments with shield models, mainly triple plate configurations, which are subjected to impacts of projectiles comparable with orbital debris in material, mass and velocity. The experimental results serve finally to establish empirical formulas for the shield design. To prove these results, more fundamental examinations of thin plate impact are carried out.