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Space Dock Micro-meteor Protection

Posted by: WannabeSpaceCadet - Mon May 01, 2006 1:35 pm
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Space Dock Micro-meteor Protection 
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Post lasers and debris   Posted on: Mon May 08, 2006 3:31 pm
erikm wrote:
IMO the only really suitable active orbital micrometeoroid defense system would be an energy weapon. In other words, a laser. This would basically burn up the inbound. Of course, the 'major powers' (meaning the IMO moronic politicians) would have fits about anyone other than themselves having something able to 'fry their communication satelites' (doubtful at best) or 'shooting at the vulnerable surface' (impossible).


Lasers are also useful for changing orbits. Exact same principal as a solar sail, except more concentrated. I wouldn't advocate it for any active satellite, unless it was specifically designed to be hit by lasers for orbit changes. Same idea has been proposed for asteroid deflection, i.e. either you literally paint one side of the asteroid white and/or you hit the asteroid with a large laser (early enough of course).

As for frying communication sateliltes, not really a good idea. It's permanent, and anything permanent in orbit is not easily removed (especially in GEO (ie. comsats), since we can't remove them when they're dead).

ASAT weapons are only a good short term option; they're a really bad idea in the midterm and long term. Anything that creates debris or dead satellites in critical orbits, is bad for EVERYONE who wants to use space. Given that the US is the single biggest user of space, you'd think the US would want to avoid any permanent destruction in orbit.

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Post    Posted on: Tue May 09, 2006 10:47 am
I am not sure if changing the orbit of the dock/assembly yard provides protection against micro-meteorites and small debris since there is a real corridor rich in small debris and meteorites. The ISS already several times had impacts the results of were detected.

And there should be an event that activates the laser - which seems to lead e back to the group of micro-, nano- and pico-satellites following and trailing the yard/dock.

There might be more such satellites along it in at least four lines. The satellites really would provide a net of radar-connections among each other and to the dock/yard and each interruption of a connection would be a debris/meteorite-warning.

The warning could activate the laser - but it could be used another way also:

1. observing small debris and meteorites and evaluating the observations statistically.

2. relating damages to the observations when damages/impacts are detected.

The first way would show if there are locations along the orbit of the yard/dock where there is an increased level of small debris and micro-meteorites. If there is such an increased level then this would improve the chances to react to the danger and or collect or remove the small objects.

What about that?



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Post    Posted on: Tue May 09, 2006 9:09 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
I am not sure if changing the orbit of the dock/assembly yard provides protection against micro-meteorites and small debris since there is a real corridor rich in small debris and meteorites. The ISS already several times had impacts the results of were detected.


Sorry, I should have said, use the laser to change the orbit of the debris, hopefully deorbiting it more rapidly.

Other than that, if we can induce a charge on the debris, or take advantage of charging from the Sun, then a powerful superconducting magnet can act as a shield or debris scoop. We'd still have to deal with the larger debris and debris that doesn't have a charge on it.

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Post    Posted on: Wed May 10, 2006 7:31 am
Ah, like a magnetic pooper scooper?

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Post    Posted on: Fri May 12, 2006 10:25 pm
Sean Girling wrote:
My question would be, how much debris, meteors, and other stuff are we talking about here? I know we've lost a couple of sats over several years, but what is the real risk, and by what size of object?


An online NASA article (“Impact Damage of LDEF Surfacesâ€


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Post    Posted on: Mon May 29, 2006 8:04 am
What about using a mirror capable of generating heat of 2500 °C? This method is one concept to get oxygen out of lunar dust. If mounted to a space dock (or another satellite or a vehicle...) it might melt small debirs and meteorites also.

The mirror would be have to be applied at the side pointing to the sun - for the other side a lense could be applied.

rpspeck of course is right - the protection still might be interesting for political, psychological and market reasons.



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Post    Posted on: Mon May 29, 2006 8:31 am
Melting won't help, a liquid will still have mass. You need to vapourize and even then it would probably re-condense into small droplets or pellets. Like a shotgun.

Also, a mirror can only heat things at its focal point, which can be altered, but probably not nearly quickly enough to follow a micro-meteor coming in at 25,000 kph.

And how would you track a micro-meteor coming in at 25,000 kph?

Active defence is, practically, impossible.


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Post    Posted on: Tue May 30, 2006 5:18 pm
WannabeSpaceCadet wrote:
And how would you track a micro-meteor coming in at 25,000 kph?

Active defence is, practically, impossible.
I agree. You cannot track every dust speck and paint fleck. Large objects that are detectable can be avoided by maneuvering out of the way, as ISS does now. Objects too small to track just have to be passively shielded against. The mass of the shield need not be large, but there has to be some space between the shield and the station being protected. Maybe a few centimeters.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:31 am
An article under www.wissenschaft.de says that "Wurtzit-Bornitrid" and Lonsdaleite are by 18% and by 58% harder than diamond and can - explicitly - be used as layers of space vehicles.

So what about layering space stations by them to test them? It would improve the shielding against micro meteors and small orbital debris. If the amount or degree(s) of damages - in particular in the main regions of impacts - are reduced that way theywould have passed the test.

The article refers to www.newscientist.com/article/dn16610-di ... erial.html .



Wht about it?



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