Conference Paper

Concepts and Considerations for Re-entry Experiments to inform Fragmentation Prediction for Destructive Entry

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Abstract

The accurate prediction of major spacecraft fragmentation events is a main driver for the evaluation of the expected ground casualty risk posed by an uncontrolled destructive re-entry. It is attractive to study spacecraft fragmentation by flight experiment due to difficulties associated with studying the phenomenology on ground; many of these difficulties stem from the limited scale achievable in ground tests. The purpose of the present work is to establish a baseline set of requirements and associated mission concepts for European destructive re-entry experiments to inform predictive fragmentation. This study builds on European heritage for flight recorder technology (BUC and DOC) as well as experiences gained from recent ground test campaigns of spacecraft materials, subsystems, joining technologies and Design for Demise (D4D) concepting. Here we report on the selected concepts as well as the underlying justification.

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... However, the processes effecting the space craft during re-entry are not yet fully understood, causing substantial uncertainties in predictions of demise and reentry trajectories. Referring to this it is evident that a synthesis between the well-experienced small satellite IRS group [2] and the IRS group dealing with atmospheric entry, aerothermal demise, in-flight sensors and relevant projects on ESA level is of high sustainability for a project as such [3] [4] [5] [6] . ...
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