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Deriving the velocity distribution of meteoroids from the measured meteoroid impact directionality on the various LDEF surfacesBecause of spacecraft motion, a much higher flux of meteoroids is expected to strike the leading (apex) surface of a spacecraft than is expected to strike the trailing (antapex) surface. The ratio of fluxes (apex to antapex) depends on the velocity distribution of meteoroids entering the Earth's atmosphere. The ratio ranges from 5.7 to 9.2 at constant meteoroid mass for the three velocity distributions examined. The velocity of impact is also greater, on average, on the apex surface than on the antapex surface, and the impacts tend to be more normal to the surface. This means that the meteoroids that make a crater of a given diameter are less massive than those that strike the antapex surface. These effects further increase the apex-antapex abundance ratio at constant crater diameter compared to that at constant mass. For craters 100 microns in diameter on 6061 T6 aluminum on the Long Duration Exposure Facility, the ratios obtained on various surfaces are given in tabular form.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Zook, Herbert A.
(NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
June 1, 1991
Publication Information
Publication: NASA, Langley Research Center, First LDEF Post-Retrieval Symposium Abstracts
Subject Category
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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