This content is not published

Containment techniques to reduce spacecraft re-entry footprint

Mon, 12/04/2023 - 13:00
Start Date: 
2021
Programme: 
TDE
End Date: 
2022
Programme Reference: 
T711-604SY
Country: 
France
Prime Contractor: 
THALES ALENIA SPACE FRANCE
Status: 
Closed
Objectives: 
  • Identify and assess e different containment methods, trade-off impacts at system and equipment level (analyse potential positive system impacts e.g. structural reinforcement, shielding, etc.) and applicability to different critical S/C equipment ​

  • Select the best containment methods and apply them to a number of study cases to address in detail the design and system impacts ​

  • Assess current modelling capabilities and existing test data to capture the effectiveness and impacts on the system of the selected containment methods ​

  • Develop a representative prototype of the containment method(s) to be tested under representative re-entry conditions in on-ground facility(ies).

Description: 

From the test campaign the length scale of the object being heated is critical to the heat flux being experienced, and thus the demisability of the object. In general, containment methodologies have a thin structure, or a small part, which is critical to their effectiveness. Examples of this are:​

  • Tethers – these are inherently thin objects.​
  • Nets – the strands of the net are thin.​
  • Bolted joints – the bolt heads are small.​
  • Struts – these are generally thin structures.​

The materials for which updated DRAMA models can be proposed based on data from this test campaign are:​

  • Titanium (changes to catalycity and melt emissivity)​
  • Tungsten (new model – same as parallel study)​
  • Molybdenum (new model – updated from parallel study)​
  • Aluminium Oxide (new model)​

It is also worth noting that models for silicon carbide and carbon which include the ability to account for active oxidation are needed to capture the demise behaviour of these materials. It is worth noting that the catalycity and emissivity of silicon carbide have been consolidated in the tests performed here, and no update to the existing DRAMA data is considered necessary. From the tests, the materials candidates, for the containment, are tungsten (tethers) and molybdenum (bolts).Carbon and Silicon carbide are good candidate for the tethers.​

Application Domain: 
Space Safety
Technology Domain: 
11 - Space Debris
Competence Domain: 
10-Astrodynamics, Space Debris and Space Environment
Initial TRL: 
TRL 3
Target TRL: 
TRL 4
Achieved TRL: 
TRL 4
Public Document: 
Type: 
Final Presentation
Type: 
Executive Summary