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Proceedings Paper

Space Station Freedom vulnerability study
Author(s): Darren S. McKnight; Michael L. Fudge
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Paper Abstract

This paper examines the vulnerability of the international Space Station Freedom (SSF) to impacts by orbital debris. Impact by debris particles with diameters of 1 cm and greater upon certain components of SSF would cause the failure of that component. NASA has calculated the frequency of 1 cm diameter and larger particle impacts upon SSF using its orbital debris flux model (found in NASA document SSP 30425). This impact frequency has been used to calculate component reliability based on the probability that a component will be impacted within the given station lifetime and suffer a catastrophic failure. This paper examined NASA's use of the orbital debris flux model in these calculations and proposes that conservative estimates within the orbital debris flux model may cause underestimation of SSF component reliabilities. Probability of collision (PC) calculations based upon recent U.S. Space Command satellite catalog information coupled with reasonable multiplication factors for 1 cm debris are presented, which yield lower impact frequencies than those found using the orbital debris flux model. The resulting lower probabilities of collision result in higher calculated values for component reliabilities; values that compare favorably with the proposed NASA safety criteria. Possible reasons for the disagreement between methods are discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 September 1993
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 1951, Space Debris Detection and Mitigation, (15 September 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.156538
Show Author Affiliations
Darren S. McKnight, Kaman Sciences Corp. (United States)
Michael L. Fudge, Kaman Sciences Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1951:
Space Debris Detection and Mitigation
Firooz A. Allahdadi, Editor(s)

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