The use of shock physics to predict the mechanics of hypervelocity impact
Smith, James Conrad Pope
Angel, Y. C.
Doctor of Philosophy
Shielding of spacecraft is a concern in the design of modern space vehicles. Due to unplanned spacecraft failures and naturally occurring planetary matter, the space environment is littered with orbital debris. This orbital debris poses a real threat to the safety of humans in space and the structural integrity and mission success of spacecraft. Debris shields mitigate the damage caused by debris impacting objects at hypervelocity. An effective shield shocks the incoming projectile, causing the projectile to break and expand. The expansion causes the projectile's momentum to be spread over a larger volume, thereby decreasing its potential to damage. A model is developed to estimate the velocity, shape, and mass distribution of debris clouds that are produced by the impact of a projectile on a bumper at hypervelocity. Models are developed for both normal and oblique impact in terms of the material and geometrical properties of the projectile and target. The model utilizes the Hugoniot shock equations to predict the states of stress and velocity in the projectile and bumper.
Aerospace engineering; Mechanical engineering