Predicting the Rupture of a COPV Impacted by a High-Speed Orbital Debris Particle: Inycluding the Effects of Temperature and COPV Contents


A main design consideration for spacecraft destined to operate in the meteoroid or orbital debris (MOD) environment is the prevention of possible damage that might occur following an MOD impact. Risk assessments that are performed during spacecraft design typically consider what might happen following an onorbit MOD impact. In order to perform such an assessment, a variety of response prediction equations are required, including equations that predict whether a structural element, such as a pressure vessel or fuel tank, is perforated or ruptured by an MOD impact. In this paper, we bring together the datasets from room temperature gas-filled and cryogenic liquid-filled pressure vessel testing programs to develop a single equation that predicts whether tank rupture will occur following a high-speed impact. A comparison with test results shows that the equation developed correctly predicts the rupture/nonrupture responses of the pressure vessels considered in this study. This new rupture limit equation (RLE) can now predict whether or not a composite overwrapped pressure vessel (COPV) would rupture under a much wider range of temperatures, constructions, and COPV contents.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0893-1321; 1943-5525

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2021 The Authors, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 May 2021