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Proceedings Paper

Onset of petalling in a thin spacecraft wall perforated by an orbital debris particle
Author(s): William P. Schonberg
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Paper Abstract

All long-duration spacecraft in low-earth-orbit are subject to high speed impacts by meteoroids and orbital debris. As a result, the threat of damage from such high-speed impacts is a major design consideration in the development and construction of long duration earth-orbiting spacecraft. Recent studies have shown that the nature of a spacecraft wall perforation can range from a flat hole with a jagged edge (i.e. a so-called cookie-cutter hole) to a hole accompanied by bulging, cracking, and petaling. If a cracking event were to occur on-orbit, unstable crack growth could develop which could lead to an unzipping of the impacted spacecraft module. It is, therefore, imperative to be able to determine whether or not a spacecraft wall perforation will be accompanied by petaling and cracking. This paper presents the results of a study whose objective was to develop an empirical model that could be used to determine whether a spacecraft wall perforation would be in the form of a petaled hole or a cookie-cutter hole. A petaling limit function was developed to predict the onset of petaling in terms of impact conditions and spacecraft wall system geometry.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 November 1998
PDF: 4 pages
Proc. SPIE 3434, Image Intensifiers and Applications; and Characteristics and Consequences of Space Debris and Near-Earth Objects, (18 November 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.331227
Show Author Affiliations
William P. Schonberg, Univ. of Alabama in Huntsville (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3434:
Image Intensifiers and Applications; and Characteristics and Consequences of Space Debris and Near-Earth Objects
C. Bruce Johnson; Timothy D. Maclay; Firooz A. Allahdadi, Editor(s)

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