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Space Supercomputing Earth

With Catastrophes In Mind, Supercomputing Project Simulates Space Junk Collision 15

aarondubrow writes "Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin developed a fundamentally new way of simulating fabric impacts that captures the fragmentation of the projectiles and the shock response of the target. Running hundreds of simulations on supercomputers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center, they assisted NASA in the development of ballistic limit curves that predict whether a shield will be perforated when hit by a projectile of a given size and speed. The framework they developed also allows them to study the impact of projectiles on body armor materials and to predict the response of different fabric weaves upon impact." With thousands of known pieces of man-made space junk, as well plenty of natural ones, it's no idle concern.
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With Catastrophes In Mind, Supercomputing Project Simulates Space Junk Collision

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    So they can use this to determine what high-tech fabric they should use to catch any large Earth-impact asteroids in a giant net?

    Any new NASA job posting should include "dog catching or butterfly collecting experience required".

  • Is there a connection between the title and summary?

  • sounds like geek pr0n.
  • Ballistics Tests (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NobleSavage ( 582615 ) on Sunday June 30, 2013 @07:58AM (#44146655)
    The summary sounds like the experiment would be good for ballistics tests. I'm not sure what the Title means.
  • What about spin? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Antique Geekmeister ( 740220 ) on Sunday June 30, 2013 @10:22AM (#44147175)

    I've seen numerous studies and theories about the ballistic impact of asteroid strikes and satellite collisions. I've seen nothing on the _spin_, the angular momentum, imparted by such impacts. Even if the shield survives, if the angular momentum imparted by an off-center impact is large enough, the impacted satellite or space craft could well be spinning faster than its available rocket resources can compensate for, or even beyond the ability of its communications and guidance systems to plan a recovery. This possibility could actually be made _worse_ by installing effective shielding. An impact that would have previously left a small hole through the spacecraft would instead be stopped or deflected and instead deposit far more angular momentum.

    Has anyone here seen or participated in such analyses?

    • History suggests that "small holes" are less likely than "complete disintegration" - small holes in hypergolic fuel tanks tend to end messily, it seems.
    • just as with projectiles from a gun, the angular momentum of space debris including asteroids is very tiny compared to total momentum; rotational kinetic energy tiny compared to total KE.......

  • They can help NASA to move a head to the furture. :)

The intelligence of any discussion diminishes with the square of the number of participants. -- Adam Walinsky