Hypervelocity impacts by space debris cause not only local cratering or penetrations, but also cause large areas of damage in coated, painted or laminated surfaces. Features examined in these analyses display interesting morphological characteristics, commonly exhibiting a concentric ringed appearance. Virtually all features greater than 0.2 mm in diameter possess a spall zone in which all of the paint was removed from the aluminum surface. These spall zones vary in size from approximately 2 - 5 crater diameters. The actual craters in the aluminum substrate vary from central pits without raised rims, to morphologies more typical of craters formed in aluminum under hypervelocity laboratory conditions for the larger features. Most features also possess what is referred to as a 'shock zone' as well. These zones vary in size from approximately 1 - 20 crater diameters. In most cases, only the outer-most layer of paint was affected by this impact related phenomenon. Several impacts possess ridge-like structures encircling the area in which this outer-most paint layer was removed. In many ways, such features resemble the lunar impact basins, but on an extremely reduced scale. Overall, there were no noticeable penetrations, bulges or spallation features on the backside of the tray. On Row 12, approximately 85 degrees from the leading edge (RAM direction), there was approximately one impact per 15 cm(exp 2). On the trailing edge, there was approximately one impact per 72 cm(exp 2). Currently, craters on four aluminum experiment trays from Bay E09, directly on the leading edge are being measured and analyzed. Preliminary results have produced more than 2200 craters on approximately 1500 cm(exp 2) - or approximately 1 impact per 0.7 cm(exp 2).
SPACECRAFT DESIGN, TESTING AND PERFORMANCE
Lunar and Planetary Inst., Twenty-Third Lunar and Planetary Science Conference; p 7-11