Hypervelocity impact is a rising concern in spacecraft missions where man-made debris in low-earth orbit as well as micrometeroids have the potential to damage not only the structural components, but also the optical, electrical, and thermal components of a space asset. Little has been investigated regarding damage mechanisms and dynamic fracture mechanics resulting from a hypervelocity impact in-situ. Two optical techniques, the methods of photoelasticity and caustics, in conjunction with high-speed photography are used to examine stress waves from impact of unloaded plates, as well as pre-cracked and pre-loaded plates in tension. The resulting photographs are analyzed to extract information regarding stress wave interactions, crack speeds and the dynamic stress field ahead of the moving cracks.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.