Contract Number: 4000106316
GSP Internal Number: 675
Interplanetary Micrometeoroid Environment for eXploration (IMEX, NEMS)
Contractor: UNIV STUTTGART
Country: Germany
Study Duration: 28 June 2012 - 01 July 2015
Tags: Exploration Interdisciplinary Model Software
ABSTRACT
The approach of the ‘Interplanetary Meteoroid Environment for eXploration' (IMEX) project is to build a model of meteoroid streams throughout the inner solar system. Our motivation for this model is the impact hazard to spacecraft. An understanding of the interplanetary environment, including the dust environment, is crucial for the planning of spacecraft missions in the inner solar system. Particles striking a spacecraft with high velocities can cause damage leading to the impairment or...read more
Executive Summary - Final
The approach of the ‘Interplanetary Meteoroid Environment for eXploration' (IMEX) project is
to build a model of meteoroid streams throughout the inner solar system. Our motivation for this model
is the impact hazard to spacecraft. An understanding of the interplanetary environment, including the
dust environment, is crucial for the planning of spacecraft missions in the inner solar system. Particles
striking a spacecraft with high velocities can cause damage leading to the impairment or even failure of
the spacecraft or its subsystems. Depending on the impactors size the effects range from degradation of
functional surfaces, such as optical systems or solar arrays, to cratering and structural penetration. Additionally,
secondary effects such as electromagnetic pulses generated by the plasma release from impacts
can interfere or even destroy sensitive electronics. Manned space activities are especially vulnerable to
any damage caused by meteoroid impacts because of their much lower tolerance level, large cross sections
and long exposure times. Such a model can also be used to study meteor showers on Earth and at other
planets; to develop a map of cometary trails in the sky, which can be used to launch a search for these
trails; and to study the timescales on which streams are dispersed by planetary perturbations and other
effects.