One of the major design considerations of earth-orbiting spacecraft is the damage that might occur from an impact by a micrometeoroid or orbital debris particle. Ballistic limit equations (BLEs), which predict the response of spacecraft components under impact, are one of the key components of any micrometeoroid / orbital debris risk assessment calculation. However, given that a limited number of BLEs have been developed, analysts will sometimes use a BLE to assess the impact projectile made of a material that was not used in the development of that BLE. This paper presents the results of a two-part study that focused non-aluminum projectiles impacting aluminum dual-wall structures. In the first, results from high-speed impact tests using non-aluminum projectiles were compared against the predictions of a commonly used dual-wall BLE. In nearly all cases, this BLE was found not to work sufficiently well in predicting the high-speed impact response of non-aluminum projectiles. In the second, the dual-wall BLE was modified to more correctly predict the response of such wall systems to the high-speed impact of non-aluminum projectiles. This modified BLE was found to be much improved in predicting whether or not a high-speed non-aluminum projectile would perforate a dual-wall system.
W. P. Schonberg, "Improved Ballistic Limit Equations for High-Speed Non-Aluminum Projectiles Impacting Aluminum Dual-Wall Spacecraft Systems," SN Applied Sciences, vol. 2, no. 8, Springer, Aug 2020.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1007/s42452-020-03238-4
Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering
Keywords and Phrases
Ballistic limit equation; Hypervelocity impact; Non-aluminum projectiles; Space debris
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Article - Journal
© 2020 The Author, All rights reserved.
Creative Commons Licensing
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
01 Aug 2020