Overview of spacecraft fragmentation testing

Overview of spacecraft fragmentation testing

Stefano Lopresti, Federico Basana, Lorenzo Olivieri, Cinzia Giacomuzzo, Alessandro Francesconi

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Abstract. Spacecraft fragmentation due to collisions with space debris is a major concern for space agencies and commercial entities, since the production of collisional fragments is one of the major sources of space debris. It is in fact believed that, in certain circumstances, the increase of fragmentation events could trigger collisional cascade that makes the future debris environmental not sustainable. Experimental studies have shown that the fragmentation process is highly complex and influenced by various factors, such as the material properties, the velocity and angle of the debris impact and the point of collision (e.g. central, glancing, on spacecraft appendages). In recent years, numerous impact tests have been performed, varying one or more of these parameters to better understand the physics behind these phenomena. In this context some tests have been also performed at the hypervelocity impact facility of the university of Padova. This paper provides an overview of the main experiments performed, the most critical issues observed and proposes some future directions for further research. Moreover, it summarizes the current state of research in spacecraft fragmentation, including the methods and techniques used to simulate debris impacts, the characterization of fragment properties and the analysis of the resulting debris cloud.

Space Debris, Fragmentation Testing, Cumulative Distribution, Satellites Break Up

Published online 11/1/2023, 5 pages
Copyright © 2023 by the author(s)
Published under license by Materials Research Forum LLC., Millersville PA, USA

Citation: Stefano Lopresti, Federico Basana, Lorenzo Olivieri, Cinzia Giacomuzzo, Alessandro Francesconi, Overview of spacecraft fragmentation testing, Materials Research Proceedings, Vol. 37, pp 513-517, 2023

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21741/9781644902813-112

The article was published as article 112 of the book Aeronautics and Astronautics

Content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.

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