Micro-Particle Impact Detector Experiment on MightySat I
Final rept. 15 Jul 96-1 Oct 97
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB KIRTLAND AFB NMSPACE VEHICLES DIRECTORATE
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The purpose of this paper is to present an engineering design of a spaceborne Micro Particle Impact Detector MPID experiment. This experiment is manifested on an Air Force Research Laboratory spacecraft called MightySat I scheduled for launch in July 1998. A follow on report will present the resulting particle impact data. The objective of this experiment is to measure direction and time of impact of spaceborne micron size particles with time of impact resolution of 0.1 s. The primary element in this experiment consists of two Metal Oxide Semiconductor MOS discharge capacitor detectors that discharge upon hypervelocity particle impact. These detectors were developed by Prof. J.J. Wortman from North Carolina State University. Each MOS particle detector is 3 in x 112 inches and approximately 0.013 in thick. Each particle detector is bonded to a detector assembly that is in turn mechanically fastened to the external bottom plate of the MightySat I spacecraft. The detector assembly and associated electronics weigh less than 0.4 lb and have a total impact sensing area of 3.7 in 2. Each particle impact causes an impact event record to be stored in the spacecraft control unit for later downlink. Each impact event record will store time of impact and output from two coarse sun sensors. Data from the coarse sun sensors is used to help determine attitude of the spacecraft. The Air Force Research Laboratory MightySat I spacecraft is a 6-sided composite structure, 20.5 in height by 19.0 in diameter, 150 lb., and spin stabilized with 5 degree attitude knowledge. The MightySat I spacecraft is scheduled for orbit injection using a standard hitchhiker ejection system from space shuttle flight STS-88. Anticipated orbit for the spacecraft is 210 nmi at 51.6 degrees.
- Electrical and Electronic Equipment
- Miscellaneous Detection and Detectors
- Manned Spacecraft