Thermite-for-demise (T4D): thermite characteristics heuristic optimization on object- and spacecraft-oriented re-entry models

Thermite-for-demise (T4D): thermite characteristics heuristic optimization on object- and spacecraft-oriented re-entry models

Alessandro Finazzi, Filippo Maggi, Tobias Lips

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Abstract. The major hazard associated with uncontrolled atmospheric re-entry is the casualty risk on ground. An innovative concept to support spacecraft demise that is now under investigation is the use of exothermic reactions. Thermites are good candidates for this role, being capable of releasing a noticeable amount of heat upon ignition. An appropriate selection of the metal-metal oxide couple can grant a formulation that is compliant with the main space operation needs, e.g., that is relatively insensitive to external stimuli and non-toxic. To support the selection of the energetic material for the experimental tests in the ESA-founded project SPADEXO and to preliminarily size the charge to be placed on board, the object-oriented code TRANSIT has been developed. This software has been compared to ESA’s spacecraft-oriented code SCARAB (developed by HTG), that is capable to predict spacecraft re-entry with the highest possible level of detail. Both the models were subjected to a genetic algorithm optimization process to identify the best thermite properties and the foreseen energetic material mass for simple geometries applications. In this paper, the SCARAB results obtained for one geometry will be presented and compared with the ones retrieved by TRANSIT.

Atmospheric Re-Entry, Genetic Algorithm, Thermite, Spacecraft Demise

Published online 11/1/2023, 4 pages
Copyright © 2023 by the author(s)
Published under license by Materials Research Forum LLC., Millersville PA, USA

Citation: Alessandro Finazzi, Filippo Maggi, Tobias Lips, Thermite-for-demise (T4D): thermite characteristics heuristic optimization on object- and spacecraft-oriented re-entry models, Materials Research Proceedings, Vol. 37, pp 668-674, 2023


The article was published as article 144 of the book Aeronautics and Astronautics

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