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HyperVelocity Impact Technology


Risk Assessment

The HVIT follows a few basic steps in the analysis of hypervelocity impact test data. Generally, the analysis process consists of running a series of HVI experiments, collecting and analyzing the damage data produced, and developing models which functionally predict damage for a particular shield configuration, given a set of impacting parameters.

These equations serve as an input to the spacecraft threat assessment model, which will yield the overall risk which meteoroids and orbital debris pose to a spacecraft. This "risk" is expressed in "probabilities of impact", and "probabilities of failure." These last metrics are the fundamental objective which falls out of HVI research.

At the HVIT, testing, analysis, design, and other services have been performed on a variety of manned and unmanned spacecraft. The following case studies provide some insight into the capabilities of the HVIT. After the ballistic limit equations and the near earth environments are defined, a computer program called Bumper is implemented to determine the probability of surface impacts and/or shield penetration.

Meteoroid and orbital debris threat assessments have been performed on a variety of manned and unmanned spacecraft. The following case studies provide some insight into the capabilities of the Bumper code

MPCV
MPCV
ISS
International Space Station
Space Shuttle Program
Space Shuttle
Extravehicular Activity
Extravehicular Activity
Iridium
Iridium
SSRMS
Space Station Remote Manipulator System
Mars Trans Hab
Mars Trans Hab
MIR
MIR

Case Studies

At the HVIT, testing, analysis, design, and other services have been performed on a variety of manned and unmanned spacecraft. The following case studies provide some insight into the capabilities of the HVIT.

SSRMS Image
SSRMS

An important part of the Space Station is its Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS), the robotic arm that will be used to perform various tasks on the ISS. The HVIT looked at the effects of meteoroid and debris impacts to the arm itself and its electrical cables.

shuttle image
Shuttle

Mission support for the shuttle program was a primary focus at the HVIT. Significant effort went toward prediction and mitigation of on-orbit impact risk.

EMU image
EMU

The familiar Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) are used for spacewalks by shuttle astronauts and will also be used during the construction of the International Space Station.

Mars Trans Hab Image
MARS TRANS HAB

JSC is currently evaluating the feasibility of a manned mission to Mars, and the HVIT has conducted hypervelocity impact experiments to assess the response of the Mars Module Shield (MMS) concepts.

Stardust image
STARDUST

Stardust was an interplanetary probe that was used to collect cometary particulates from the comet 81P/Wild-2 while passing within 100 km (62 miles) of its nucleus head in early 2004.

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X-38

The X-38 is the X-series name given to the prototype ISS Crew Return Vehicle (CRV). The HVIT has performed numerous hypervelocity experiments using X-38 materials which have helped generate complete threat assessments for the spacecraft.