Hypervelocity Impact Simulation using Smoothed-Particle Hydrodynamics

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The issue of space debris in Low Earth Orbit is a growing concern that requires comprehensive solutions. This includes preventing further pollution, removing existing debris, and designing resilient spacecraft that can withstand impacts. This thesis focuses on the improvement of spacecraft shielding structures to provide effective protection against hypervelocity impacts. The Smoothed-Particle Hydrodynamics method was used for the simulation of hypervelocity impacts using LS-DYNA. The method is preferred for the simulation of impacts at high velocity and was used to reproduce two studies from the past. The simulation was then performed on a double plate system, with results compared to data from experiments provided by Airbus Defence and Space GmbH, under co-supervison from ESA. The simulation accurately predicted the hole diameter in the 1st plate with less than 2% error, while the damage zone in the second plate showed considerable variance. The simulations consistently overpredict the damage zone, leading to conservative results.