Meteoroid impacts on spacecraft: sporadics, streams, and the 1999 Leonids

McBride, Neil and McDonnell, J.A.M. (1999) Meteoroid impacts on spacecraft: sporadics, streams, and the 1999 Leonids. Planetary and Space Science, 47 (8-9). pp. 1005-1013. ISSN 0032-0633. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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This paper considers impact effects such as penetration damage and plasma generation on satellites in Low Earth and Geostationary orbits. We characterise the spacecraft impact damage for the normal sporadic background and the annual meteoroid showers, and, especially consider the quantitative effects which would occur should the 1999 apparition of the Leonids reach 'storm conditions'. In this case, the meteoroid shower has the damage potential which could exceed the sporadic meteoroid background by several orders of magnitude at peak. Impact velocities are considered and formulae for penetration, or, plasma charge production are presented. It is found that the Leonids exceed any other stream in terms of plasma current generation even under normal 'quiescent' conditions. Due to the flux enhancement associated with a storm condition, spacecraft could suffer up to one year's worth of normal impact damage, with a few spacecraft suffering potentially catastrophic plasma discharge events, and with the largest likely impact being able to penetrate of order 1 cm of solid aluminium.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Science Technology and Medical Studies > School of Physical Sciences
Depositing User: I.T. Ekpo
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2009 22:08
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2014 13:02
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