Space debris impacts can affect satellites with effects spanning from local damages to subsystems failure to the complete loss of the vehicle; critical events may lead to partial or complete spacecraft fragmentation. In this field, testing and modelling space debris impacts may help to develop dedicated protections and to assess the physical processes involved in high velocity and hypervelocity collisions. In particular, ground facilities can be employed to partially replicate impact conditions typical of Earth orbit, while for the most energetic impacts involving large objects at velocities in the range of 10 km/s numerical simulations are currently employed. In this paper, the recent activity at the University of Padova on these two branches of space debris research is presented. The hypervelocity impact testing facility is described and the main experimental campaigns performed in the last few years are introduced. The second part of this work describes impact modelling research advances, focusing on the simulation of complex collision scenarios. Collected results suggest that the current breakup model might be updated to better evaluate the transition between local damage and full fragmentation events.

An overview of research activities at University of Padova in the field of satellite impacts with space debris

Olivieri L.;Barilaro L.;Giacomuzzo C.;Francesconi A.
2021

Abstract

Space debris impacts can affect satellites with effects spanning from local damages to subsystems failure to the complete loss of the vehicle; critical events may lead to partial or complete spacecraft fragmentation. In this field, testing and modelling space debris impacts may help to develop dedicated protections and to assess the physical processes involved in high velocity and hypervelocity collisions. In particular, ground facilities can be employed to partially replicate impact conditions typical of Earth orbit, while for the most energetic impacts involving large objects at velocities in the range of 10 km/s numerical simulations are currently employed. In this paper, the recent activity at the University of Padova on these two branches of space debris research is presented. The hypervelocity impact testing facility is described and the main experimental campaigns performed in the last few years are introduced. The second part of this work describes impact modelling research advances, focusing on the simulation of complex collision scenarios. Collected results suggest that the current breakup model might be updated to better evaluate the transition between local damage and full fragmentation events.
AIDAA XXVI International Conference
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3460009
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