Within this project, novel structural components of satellites are investigated with respect to their shielding capabilities against Micrometeoroid and Space Debris impacts.
The project is being conducted at the Institute of Astronautics in cooperation with the DLR, Oberpfaffenhofen.
More and more structural elements with carbon fiber reinforced materials (CFP), e.g. honeycomb cover-plates, are being used for the construction of satellites. The damage features of such CFP-plates alone or in combination with other materials due to hypervelocity impacts, e.g. micrometeoroids and space debris, is by far not investigated as intensively as comparable Aluminum designs. The damage behavior is investigated experimentally with the electrothermal accelerator facility of the institute. In particular, the usage of foam-like materials - instead of honeycombs – is being investigated within the project. It is well known that conventional honeycombs used in structural panels concentrate the debris cloud generated by the penetration of the first cover plate and such pose a significant risk of penetration failure of the backward cover-plate. Foam-like materials promise an improved dispersion and deceleration of the fragments.