According to NASA, there exists more than 100 million pieces of Micrometeoroids and Orbital Debris (MMOD) in Low Earth Orbit traveling at an average speed of 9 kilometers per second, or about 20,000 m..
According to NASA, there exists more than 100 million pieces of Micrometeoroids and Orbital Debris (MMOD) in Low Earth Orbit traveling at an average speed of 9 kilometers per second, or about 20,000 miles per hour, that cannot currently be tracked with modern technology. With long duration spaceflight becoming a reality as the space industry looks to return to the moon, this time to stay, engineers have been tasked with developing habitats where astronauts can live and work safely for months or even years at a time while avoiding the many hazards of space, especially MMOD. To assist in the detection and improve the safety of space structures, the demonstrated work establishes the fabrication of a passive self-healing composite dielectric elastomer sensor to be utilized for the structural health monitoring (SHM) of inflatable space structures. With funding from NASA through the Florida Space Grant Consortium, ERAU’s Office of Undergraduate Research, and ERAU’s College of Engineering, hyper-velocity impact testing (HVIT) was performed at the Impact Physics Laboratory at the University of Dayton Research Institute to demonstrate scientific significance in self-healing capability and a measurable change in capacitance associated with impact damage, including penetration depth. Additionally, the sensing system’s ability to measure impact velocity and operate passively was addressed.