Satellites breakup models are based on observations of in-space events and on impact tests performed in ground facilities. In the last years the scientific community showed a growing interest in updating such models to include the influence of modern spacecraft design and divers materials in satellites breakup. In this context, an impact test was performed at the impact facility of the University of Padova to characterize the fragmentation of a picosatellite mock-up. The kinetic energy to the involved mass ratio of the impact was of about 80 kJ/kg, well above the commonly considered catastrophic threshold of 40 kJ/kg, leading to a complete fragmentation of the impacted body. The resulting fragments were collected and characterized in terms of their size, shape and area-to-mass ratio. In this paper the impact experiment and the fragments characterization are presented; results are compared with the NASA Standard Breakup Model. It is observed that the obtained characteristic length distribution is line with the prediction of the NASA SBM even for the smallest size classes, while the area-to-mass distribution is strongly affected by the materials employed in the picosatellite manufacturing.

Characterization of the fragments generated by a Picosatellite impact experiment

Olivieri, Lorenzo
;
Giacomuzzo, Cinzia;Francesconi, Alessandro
2022

Abstract

Satellites breakup models are based on observations of in-space events and on impact tests performed in ground facilities. In the last years the scientific community showed a growing interest in updating such models to include the influence of modern spacecraft design and divers materials in satellites breakup. In this context, an impact test was performed at the impact facility of the University of Padova to characterize the fragmentation of a picosatellite mock-up. The kinetic energy to the involved mass ratio of the impact was of about 80 kJ/kg, well above the commonly considered catastrophic threshold of 40 kJ/kg, leading to a complete fragmentation of the impacted body. The resulting fragments were collected and characterized in terms of their size, shape and area-to-mass ratio. In this paper the impact experiment and the fragments characterization are presented; results are compared with the NASA Standard Breakup Model. It is observed that the obtained characteristic length distribution is line with the prediction of the NASA SBM even for the smallest size classes, while the area-to-mass distribution is strongly affected by the materials employed in the picosatellite manufacturing.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3451683
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