Design-for-Demise Analysis using the SAM Destructive Re-Entry Model

Conference paper
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Proceedings book series (ASSSP, volume 52)


In order to assess a number of design-for-demise techniques, a toy spacecraft has been constructed and is modelled with an approach which bridges the gap between the standard object-oriented and spacecraft-oriented approaches. Using the SAM destructive re-entry code, simulations have been performed on the complete spacecraft to the point where the major fragmentation events have occurred in six-degrees of freedom. The spacecraft is modelled as a set of components connected by joints, allowing the benefits of spacecraft oriented modelling to be achieved at a fraction of the computational cost. Using this analysis with the fragmentation altitudes as the indicator of the effectiveness of the design-for-demise techniques, the potential improvement from the use of demisable joints and inserts can be clearly identified. Assessment of the individual components which result from the fragmentation can then be carried out using a three-degrees of freedom approach as it is demonstrated that this represents the heating on basic shapes more reliably that spacecraft-oriented approaches. The flexibility of the SAM tool is demonstrated in the assessment of three critical items of spacecraft equipment.


Design for demise Re-entry analysis Destructive simulation Fragmentation Spacecraft Space debris 



This work has been funded by the ESA Clean Space Initiative. Open image in new window


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Belstead Research LimitedAshfordUK
  2. 2.Fluid Gravity Engineering LimitedEmsworthUK
  3. 3.Airbus Defence and SpaceStevenageUK

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