Abstract

The increasing space debris poses a great threat to in-orbit spacecraft and satellites, because its hypervelocity impact can bring about fatal mechanical and electrical damage to them. This work applies pulsed digital inline holography (DIH) to measure three-dimensional (3D) positions and shapes of the debris clouds generated by the hypervelocity impact in the Whipple shield. Detailed operation procedures of synchronizing the pulse DIH system with the impact event and removing the strong plasma radiation are presented, ensuring the successful capture of the transient state of ultrafast ejecta. Experiments on a 2.25 mm aluminum sphere impacting a 0.5 mm thickness aluminum target plate with a velocity of 3.6 km/s are carried out at the Hypervelocity Impact Research Center of the China Aerodynamics Research and Development Center, and results show that the holographic fringes are clearly recorded and the debris fragments are reconstructed and located accurately, agreeing well with the results measured by laser shadowgraph. This work demonstrates the powerful capability and great potential of DIH in the diagnostics of hypervelocity impact.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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