The equipment allows ground conditions to simulate the impact of different elements of fragmentation and meteoroid environment on spacecraft. The installation will be used by the leading research institute Roscosmos-TsNIIMash (Central Research Institute of Machine Building) to conduct experiments aimed at developing effective means of protecting the satellites and the ISS from attacks of meteoroids and space debris.
- The two-stage light-gas ballistic installation allows throwing a variety of models at a rate from 2.5 to 8 kilometers per second and above, - says Yury Khristenko, the author of the project, Professor at the Department of Flight Dynamics of the Faculty of Physics and Engineering and leading researcher of the Research Institute of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics. - It allows simulating the processes of collisions with cosmic speed. Experiments using our equipment will determine the specifics of damage arising after the contact of various materials with the attacking elements.
This will help specialists of TsNIImash in the development of a prospective means of protection for spacecraft based on new materials and new constructions that have less weight and high strength.
It should be noted that previously in such installations, gunpowder was used as the primary source of energy. The three-stage light-gas gun constructed by the Research Institute of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics (RF patent number 2490580) operates on compressed air, which ensures complete safety testing. This development also interested the organization Roskosmos.