Single microparticle launching method using two-stage light-gas gun for simulating hypervelocity impacts of micrometeoroids and space debris

Kawai, Nobuaki; Tsurui, Kenji; Hasegawa, Sunao; Sato, Eiichi
November 2010
Review of Scientific Instruments;Nov2010, Vol. 81 Issue 11, p115105
Academic Journal
A single microparticle launching method is described to simulate the hypervelocity impacts of micrometeoroids and microdebris on space structures at the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. A microparticle placed in a sabot with slits is accelerated using a rifled two-stage light-gas gun. The centrifugal force provided by the rifling in the launch tube separates the sabot. The sabot-separation distance and the impact-point deviation are strongly affected by the combination of the sabot diameter and the bore diameter, and by the projectile diameter. Using this method, spherical projectiles of 1.0-0.1 mm diameter were launched at up to 7 km/s.


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