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23 June 1995 Atmospheric effects in spacecraft interiors following orbital debris penetration
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Abstract
Orbital debris penetration of manned spacecraft is accompanied by a number of atmospheric effects that can pose a serious hazard to spacecraft and crew survival. These atmospheric effects can include overpressure, light flash, and temperature rise as hot particles from the penetration process impinge into the atmosphere of a manned spacecraft. This paper reports the results from a series of tests sponsored by the Marshall Space Flight Center and recently completed at the University of Alabama in Huntsville Aerophysics Research Center to study these effects. In these tests, a light gas gun was used to fire orbital debris particle simulants from 0.375 to 0.625 inches in diameter through target simulants into a large test chamber simulating the interior cabin of a spacecraft at 1 atmosphere. The test chamber was instrumented with pressure transducers, light sensors, and temparature gauges to measure the level of blast hazard associated with differing target and penetrator conditions at various distances from the target site. The mitigating effects of interior equipment racks and spall blankets were also measured. This report discusses the relationship between observed overpressure, light, and temperature effects and the hazard level that would be expected to cause crew injury.
© (1995) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Joel E. Williamsen and John Serrano "Atmospheric effects in spacecraft interiors following orbital debris penetration", Proc. SPIE 2483, Space Environmental, Legal, and Safety Issues, (23 June 1995); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.212573
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