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RESEARCH PAPERS

On Protection of Freedom’s Solar Dynamic Radiator From the Orbital Debris Environment: Part I—Preliminary Analysis and Testing

[+] Author and Article Information
Jennifer L. Rhatigan

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, OH 44135

Eric L. Christiansen

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX 77058

Michael L. Fleming

LTV Missiles and Electronics, Dallas, TX 75265-0003

J. Sol. Energy Eng 114(3), 135-141 (Aug 01, 1992) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2929996 History: Received August 01, 1991; Revised April 01, 1992; Online June 06, 2008

Abstract

A great deal of experimentation and analysis has been performed to quantify penetration thresholds of components which will experience orbital debris impacts. Penetration has been found to depend upon mission-specific parameters such as orbital altitude, inclination, and orientation of the component; and upon component specific parameters such as material, density, and the geometry particular to its shielding. Experimental results are highly dependent upon shield configuration and cannot be extrapolated with confidence to alternate shield configurations. Also, current experimental capabilities are limited to velocities which only approach the lower limit of predicted orbital debris velocities. Therefore, prediction of the penetrating particle size for a particular component having a complex geometry remains highly uncertain. This paper describes the approach developed to assess on-orbit survivability of the solar dynamic radiator due to micrometeroid and space debris impacts. Preliminary analyses are presented to quantify the solar dynamic radiator survivability, and include the type of particle and particle population expected to defeat the radiator bumpering (i.e., penetrate a fluid flow tube). Results of preliminary hypervelocity impact testing performed on radiator panel samples (in the 6 to 7 km/sec velocity range) are also presented. Plans for further analyses and testing are discussed. These efforts are expected to lead to a radiator design which will perform to Space Station Freedom requirements over the expected lifetime.

Copyright © 1992 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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