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Health Monitoring of Re-entry Vehicles
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The inevitable return of space hardware from low earth orbit via targetedre-entries or naturally decaying orbits, creates a risk to human casualty andproperty damage. Fragmentation models that are used to assess this risk,however, contain a large degree of uncertainty and lack experimental datafor calibration. A recently proven method for a↵ordably recording this criticalre-entry data is the use of an automated, compact re-entry health monitoringsystem passively attached to a host spacecraft. The device recordsa variety of data during the breakup, only to release and transmit its datavolume to a commercial satellite constellation for retrieval and analysis.Using the Automated Transfer Vehicle re-entry scenario, this study exploresthe limitations of such a concept by identifying and analysing system andscenario-related constraints. Although realisable, two major findings weremade evident. First, the transmittable data volume, though sufficient in thisscenario, is likely to be quickly exceeded in more data-intensive scenarios.Second, power consumption on a passive device is a major constraint forlonger duration missions.The data recorded is expected to provide invaluable insights leading tomodel calibration and spacecraft ‘design-for-demise’ techniques. Given thenecessity to mitigate casualty risk and comply with agency guidelines, theaim here is to relieve spacecraft operators of manoeuvring costs and subsequentpayload reductions. There is also potential to use the device as a‘black-box’ for reusable re-entry vehicles of the future. Such a device couldreduce developmental costs and risk to manned-spaceflight.

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URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-43482Local ID: 15a37921-df78-41ff-b50a-e149e4a89e08OAI: diva2:1016714
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Space Engineering, master's level
Validerat; 20120220 (ysko)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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