Protection of spacecraft from space environmental effects

Mollik Nayyar, Srikanth Raviprasad, Vignesh Chandrasekaran, Yash Vardhan Gupta

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

This paper deals with the impact of micrometeoroid and space debris on spacecrafts and the methods used for protection against them. Manned or unmanned spacecrafts crossing a certain altitude are vulnerable to damage by micrometeoroids and space debris. They are defragmented parts of asteroids and meteors (space rocks) or man-made debris (solidified exhaust from earlier missions, etc.). Collision of space debris with the spacecraft structure can cause damage, considerable enough to cause problems in its control systems. Also, these collisions cause slow degradation of material properties. Various protective techniques are required for damage prevention and making the space mission a success. One of the most common techniques used for shielding against space debris and micrometeoroids is the usage of protective blankets made up of a material which can absorb the impulse produced due to collision without causing damage to the structure and also withstand the harsh environment of the outer space i.e. the material is so selected that it does not get degraded in the space environment. Presence of atomic oxygen, charged particles, UV radiations are some of the causes of material degradation in space. The factors to be considered in the selection are: strength of the material, melting temperature, surface properties like absorptance and emittance, mass density, cost. These blankets are either multi or single layered depending upon the requirement. Some of the protective covers used are beta cloth, Kevlar, Tedlar, ceramic blankets and aluminum shields. Materials like Teflon can also be used but when used they should be bonded to a more durable support material such as Kapton. After detailed a comparison between the potential materials and their properties, specific areas of application of each material depending on the requirement is highlighted. Thus, a shield is fabricated considering its reliability in space environment, its ability to withstand space temperature, weight constraints of the spacecraft and cost effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication64th International Astronautical Congress 2013, IAC 2013
PublisherInternational Astronautical Federation, IAF
Pages6022-6029
Number of pages8
Volume8
ISBN (Print)9781629939094
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-2013
Externally publishedYes
Event64th International Astronautical Congress 2013, IAC 2013 - Beijing, China
Duration: 23-09-201327-09-2013

Conference

Conference64th International Astronautical Congress 2013, IAC 2013
CountryChina
CityBeijing
Period23-09-1327-09-13

Fingerprint

space debris
micrometeoroids
environmental effect
Environmental impact
Spacecraft
blankets
spacecraft
debris
damage
Space debris
causes
aerospace environments
collisions
unmanned spacecraft
polyvinyl fluoride
manned spacecraft
spacecraft structures
space temperature
Kevlar (trademark)
degradation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Nayyar, M., Raviprasad, S., Chandrasekaran, V., & Gupta, Y. V. (2013). Protection of spacecraft from space environmental effects. In 64th International Astronautical Congress 2013, IAC 2013 (Vol. 8, pp. 6022-6029). International Astronautical Federation, IAF.
Nayyar, Mollik ; Raviprasad, Srikanth ; Chandrasekaran, Vignesh ; Gupta, Yash Vardhan. / Protection of spacecraft from space environmental effects. 64th International Astronautical Congress 2013, IAC 2013. Vol. 8 International Astronautical Federation, IAF, 2013. pp. 6022-6029
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Nayyar, M, Raviprasad, S, Chandrasekaran, V & Gupta, YV 2013, Protection of spacecraft from space environmental effects. in 64th International Astronautical Congress 2013, IAC 2013. vol. 8, International Astronautical Federation, IAF, pp. 6022-6029, 64th International Astronautical Congress 2013, IAC 2013, Beijing, China, 23-09-13.

Protection of spacecraft from space environmental effects. / Nayyar, Mollik; Raviprasad, Srikanth; Chandrasekaran, Vignesh; Gupta, Yash Vardhan.

64th International Astronautical Congress 2013, IAC 2013. Vol. 8 International Astronautical Federation, IAF, 2013. p. 6022-6029.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Nayyar M, Raviprasad S, Chandrasekaran V, Gupta YV. Protection of spacecraft from space environmental effects. In 64th International Astronautical Congress 2013, IAC 2013. Vol. 8. International Astronautical Federation, IAF. 2013. p. 6022-6029