Analysis of Reentry and Break-Up Forces from Impulse Facility Experiments and Numerical Rebuilding

Leiser, David and Loehle, Stefan and Zander, Fabian ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0597-9556 and Buttsworth, David R. and Choudhury, Rishabh and Fasoulas, Stefanos (2022) Analysis of Reentry and Break-Up Forces from Impulse Facility Experiments and Numerical Rebuilding. Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets. pp. 1-13. ISSN 0022-4650


Abstract

This paper shows new findings for the break-up of large spacecraft during reentry into Earth’s atmosphere. The break-up scenario at high altitude drives the ground impact area for parts surviving the reentry. Therefore, based on a combined experimental and numerical analysis of the reentry of the International Space Station (ISS), loads at the module connections have been assessed. In this study, experiments were conducted in an impulse facility to determine the aerothermodynamic forces that apply to models of three components from the ISS. This paper marks the first approach to the experimental testing of complex geometric models coupled with a ground-to-flight scaling of the resulting internal stress. A high-speed schlieren setup was used to record the movement of the multibody free-flight models. A 3D positional analysis tracked the bodies separately. The experimental situation was simulated using the eilmer4 computational fluid dynamics code. A comparison of the experimental and simulated flowfield shows a reasonable agreement in shock structure and resulting forces. The forces were then scaled from testing to flight, extrapolated along a trajectory path, and transformed into spacecraft internal stress. While the resulting forces are significant, it is shown that these forces are significantly smaller than the yield strength of structural materials. Although no aeroheating was simulated in this study, the separation of the large segments of the ISS might not be driven by the mechanical forces alone. This study shows that comparatively simple shock tunnel experiments offer a comprehensive high-fidelity analysis of the interbody forces of complex multibody structures.


Statistics for USQ ePrint 47802
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current – Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Engineering (1 Jan 2022 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current – Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Engineering (1 Jan 2022 -)
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2022 03:31
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2022 03:31
Uncontrolled Keywords: spacecraft; Earth's atmosphere; high altitude drives; ground impact area
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4001 Aerospace engineering > 400199 Aerospace engineering not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.2514/1.A35204
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/47802

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only