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Construction of a PZT Sensor Network for Low and Hypervelocity Impact Detection

  • Carmona, J. A.
  • Cook, M.
  • Cooper, M.
  • Schmoke, J.
  • Reay, J.
  • Matthews, L.
  • Hyde, T.
Publication Date
Jan 10, 2005
Submission Date
Jan 10, 2005
arXiv ID: physics/0501046
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Orbital debris is a constraint on the long-term health of any spacecraft and must be considered during mission planning. Varying mechanisms have been proposed to quantify the problem. Assessment of orbital debris employing ground-based methods such as radar can help determine where debris clouds are located as well as their density or orbital trajectory. Such data is invaluable to computer simulations and can allow predictions of the debris environment over specific time periods [1]. Accurate in-situ data is essential as well with various types of sensors designed to detect orbital debris impacts employed on space missions since the 1950's [2]. One of the most common of these is the PZT (piezoelectric lead zirconate titanate) which is often used in-situ to measure the momentum of a particle at the time of impact. This paper will discuss a multiple PZT sensor system capable of determining both impactor momentum and location currently in development within CASPER.

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