Numerical Simulation of Hypervelocity Space Debris Impact

Erzincanli B., Eken A., Eken S.

10th International Conference on Recent Advances in Air and Space Technologies, RAST 2023, İstanbul, Turkey, 7 - 09 June 2023 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Doi Number: 10.1109/rast57548.2023.10197902
  • City: İstanbul
  • Country: Turkey
  • Keywords: debris cloud, hypervelocity impact, orbital debris, space shield
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The method presented in this study describes the hypervelocity impact of orbital debris, which has become a pressing concern due to the growing accumulation of debris in Earth's orbit. To better understand the dynamics of the impact, a numerical method namely the Material Point Method is presented to simulate the hypervelocity impact of a debris particle into shield systems. The specific material models, namely the Mie-Griineisen equation of state (EoS) for the material state model and the Johnson-Cook (J-C) strength model for material strength are adopted. The simulations of a lead projectile impacting into a lead target plate are conducted. Multiple snapshots at different times of the impact are captured to demonstrate the deformation of the plate and projectile after impact. The presented simulation results are compared with those of a typical hypervelocity impact experiment and shows similar form of debris cloud formations with the experimental results. All in all, this method can serve as an efficient tool and be used to compliment in the experimental research of the development of the new shield designs.