We have conducted a series of low-velocity impact experiments to understand the dispersion properties of fragments newly created by low-velocity impacts possible in space, especially in geostationary Earth orbit. The test results are utilized to establish a mathematical prediction model to be used in debris generation and propagation codes. Since the expected collision velocity between catalogued objects in geostationary Earth orbit shows a peak at a few hundreds meters per second, these impact experiments were conducted at a velocity range lower than 300 m/s. As a typical structure of satellites in geostationary Earth orbit, thin aluminum honeycomb sandwich panels with carbon fiber reinforced plastics face sheets were prepared, while the projectile was a stainless steel ball of 9 mm diameter. The data collected through these impact experiments have been re-analyzed based on the method used in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) standard breakup model 1998 revision. The results indicate that the NASA standard breakup model derived from hypervelocity impacts could be applied to low-velocity collision possible in geostationary Earth orbit with some modifications.
Space Debris – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 8, 2004
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