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Marshall Space Flight Center's Impact Testing Facility CapabilitiesMarshall Space Flight Center s (MSFC) Impact Testing Facility (ITF) serves as an important installation for space and missile related materials science research. The ITF was established and began its research in spacecraft debris shielding in the early 1960s, then played a major role in the International Space Station debris shield development. As NASA became more interested in launch debris and in-flight impact concerns, the ITF grew to include research in a variety of impact genres. Collaborative partnerships with the DoD led to a wider range of impact capabilities being relocated to MSFC as a result of the closure of Particle Impact Facilities in Santa Barbara, California. The Particle Impact Facility had a 30 year history in providing evaluations of aerospace materials and components during flights through rain, ice, and solid particle environments at subsonic through hypersonic velocities. The facility s unique capabilities were deemed a "National Asset" by the DoD. The ITF now has capabilities including environmental, ballistic, and hypervelocity impact testing utilizing an array of air, powder, and two-stage light gas guns to accommodate a variety of projectile and target types and sizes. Numerous upgrades including new instrumentation, triggering circuitry, high speed photography, and optimized sabot designs have been implemented. Other recent research has included rain drop demise characterization tests to obtain data for inclusion in on-going model development. The current and proposed ITF capabilities range from rain to micrometeoroids allowing the widest test parameter range possible for materials investigations in support of space, atmospheric, and ground environments. These test capabilities including hydrometeor, single/multi-particle, ballistic gas guns, exploding wire gun, and light gas guns combined with Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics Code (SPHC) simulations represent the widest range of impact test capabilities in the country.
Document ID
20080037557
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Finchum, Andy (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Hubbs, Whitney (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Evans, Steve (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
June 23, 2008
Subject Category
Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
Meeting Information
2008 National Space and Missile Materials Symposium(Henderson, NV)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.