## Abstract

This study investigates the damage caused by impacts of space debris and micrometeoroids (SD/MM) on mirrors of placed on spacecrafts in an orbit of 700 km and 1400 km altitude with an inclination of 48°. For the investigated orbits the maximum damage from impact degradation of the optical surface as well as the probability of total destruction by single particle hit has been calculated. Based on the NASA statistical standard model ORDEM 96, the calculation of SD particle fluxes shows that at 700 km altitude an average of 62000 impact damages per m^{2} and per year are caused by particles with a diameter equal or larger than 1 μm. At 1400 km altitude the figure is reduced by 30%. The corresponding MM fluxes have been calculated with the Grün model and are 15 orders of magnitude smaller than the SD fluxes. For the generation of a damage law and for the determination of the total destruction limits, 50 impact damages were produced on coated and uncoated quartz glass samples, employing the impact facilities of the Ernst-Mach-Institute (EMI) and the Aerospace Department of the Technical University Munich (TUM/LRT). The particle sizes were varied between 3 μm and 1000 μm. The impact velocities were between 2.0 km/s and 16.1 km/s. Due to the irregular damages a clear correlation with the impact angle (0°, 30°, 60°) could not be proven. The diameter of the optically inactive surface after impact is proportional to E^{0.458} (where E = kinetic energy of the impact). The experimental total destruction limit of 5 mm thick quartz glasses is reached with an impact energy of 13.5 J (Aluminum sphere, 0.9 mm diameter, 5 km/s impact velocity). The degradation analysis showed that 3.5 % of the optical surfaces of the mirrors in 700 km orbits (48° inclination) is destroyed within 10 years by space debris and micro-meteoroids. The probability of total destruction for the considered mirrors in 700 km altitude is in the percent range for an operational period of 10 years. Degradation damages and the probability of total destruction in an orbit in 1400 km is slightly below the values for the 700 km orbit.

Original language | English |
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Pages (from-to) | 683-698 |

Number of pages | 16 |

Journal | International Journal of Impact Engineering |

Volume | 26 |

Issue number | 1-10 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - 2001 |

## Keywords

- Coated quartz glass
- Damage law
- Debris fluxes
- Grün model
- Hypervelocity impact
- Light-gas gun
- Meteoroid fluxes
- Mirror
- ORDEM96
- Plasmadynamic accelerator
- Surface degradation
- Total destruction