Metallic and Oxidized Aluminum Debris Impacting the Trailing Edge of the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF)

Metallic and Oxidized Aluminum Debris Impacting the Trailing Edge of the Long Duration Exposure... A total of 87 microcraters >30 μm in diameter that were found in gold substrates exposed on the trailing edge of the non-spinning Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) yielded analyzable projectile residues in their interiors. Using qualitative SEM-EDS analysis methods, some 60 of these craters were formed by natural cosmic-dust particles, while 27 residues (31%) were assigned to orbital debris (Hörz et al., 1993). The far majority of the orbital-debris impacts, 24 (89%) of the 27 events, contained only aluminum in their X-ray spectra. The present study evaluates these aluminum-rich residues in detail and employs a windowless X-ray detector, which permits for the analysis of low-Z elements and specifically of oxygen. This makes it possible to discriminate between oxidized (Al2O3) and metallic (Al) projectiles from dramatically different sources, the former produced during solid-fuel rocket firings, the latter resulting from explosively or collisionally disrupted spacecraft. Space Debris Springer Journals

Metallic and Oxidized Aluminum Debris Impacting the Trailing Edge of the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF)

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Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright © 2000 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Engineering; Automotive Engineering; Law of the Sea, Air and Outer Space; Astronomy, Observations and Techniques
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