Space Debris

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 1–7 | Cite as

Study of Micrometeoroid and Orbital Debris Effects on the Solar Panels Retrieved from the Space Station “MIR”

  • V.M. Smirnov
  • A.S. Semenov
  • V.G. Sokolov
  • V.P. Konoshenko
  • I.I. Kovalyov

Abstract

A study of micrometeoroid and orbital debris (MMOD) long-term effects on solar cell samples of solar panels returned from the space station “MIR” has been carried out. Five samples from the solar array, which spent over 10 years in space, have been studied with the help of optical microscopes with magnification up to 1000. Craters with dimensions as small as 1 μm were registered. Additional large impact features were investigated by observing a large number of cells (∼150) with an optical microscope of small magnification. The aim of the study was to define morphological and statistical characteristics of samples surface damages as well as the extent of surface erosion caused by MMOD impacts. The results of statistical analysis of the data obtained in this study are shown to correlate with the experimental data obtained in the Hubble Telescope solar panel return experiment, and MMOD flux estimations are in good agreement with modern MMOD models. The relative surface area damaged by impacts of small size (1–100 μm) MMOD particles is estimated to be ∼0.01%, while the relative surface area of large impact features (greater than 0.1 mm) is estimated to be ∼0.045%.

impact surface damages micrometeoroid and orbital debris flux optical microscope solar cell samples surface erosion 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. E. Gruen et al. Collisional Balance of the Meteoritic Complex. Icarus, 62: 244, 1985.Google Scholar
  2. S. Hauptmann and G. Drolshagen. Meteoroid and Debris Assessment on Oriented Surfaces. Application to Eureca and HST Solar Arrays. In Second European Conference on Space Debris, ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany, pages 207–210, 1997.Google Scholar
  3. D. Kessler et al. A Computer-Based Orbital Debris Environment Model for Spacecraft Design and Observation in Low Orbit. NASA, Technical Memorandum 104825, 1996.Google Scholar
  4. K. Paul and L. Berthoud. Empirical Scaling Laws for Crater Dimensions for Impacts into Solar Cells. In Physics, Chemistry and Dynamics of Interplanetary Dust, Proceedings of the IAU Colloquium 150, Gainsville, Florida, 1995.Google Scholar
  5. J. Visentine, W. Kinard et al. MIR Solar Array Return Experiment, AIAA 99-0100. In 37th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, 11-14 January 1999.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • V.M. Smirnov
    • 1
  • A.S. Semenov
    • 1
  • V.G. Sokolov
    • 2
  • V.P. Konoshenko
    • 4
  • I.I. Kovalyov
    • 4
  1. 1.State Research Institute of Aviation Systems (St. RIAS)MoscowRussia
  2. 2.Rocket & Space Corporation ‘Energia’, KorolevMoscow Reg.Russia
  3. 3.Pushkino City, Moscow RegionRussia
  4. 4.Rocket & Space Corporation ‘Energia’, KorolevMoscow Reg.Russia

Personalised recommendations