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Specialised Imaging Camera Used for Hypervelocity Testing at Technical University of Munich

Photonics.com
Dec 2016
MUNICH, Dec. 26, 2016 — The Institute of Astronautics at the Technical University of Munich has used the SIM-X ultra-high-speed framing camera from imaging systems provider Specialised Imaging Ltd. to record high-resolution images of hypervelocity impacts on granular media samples with different bulk densities.

The Institute of Astronautics investigated principles for lunar in-situ resource utilization. Lunar regolith provides a multitude of elements, which are bound in ores and minerals. The thermal, chemical and mechanical properties, however, may change significantly upon the high pressures of a hypervelocity impact. To simulate this process, impact tests were carried out using 25-mg polyethylene and 73-mg aluminum cylinders fired at 1 to 4 km/s at lunar granular material simulant under vacuum conditions.

Through these experiments, researchers sought to measure the velocity and angle of materials ejected as a result of hypervelocity impact to see if the ejecta might be lost from the lunar surface into space.

“The SIM-X camera has proven to be a powerful diagnostic tool enabling us to gain much insight into the formation and development of ejecta clouds resulting from hypervelocity impacts on simulated lunar material,” said Martin Rott, a researcher at the Institute of Astronautics. “The good time resolution of the camera recordings revealed previously unknown facts for instance that under some conditions the SWIP can rebound from the surface with a substantial velocity.”

camerasInstitute of AstronauticsTechnical University of MunichSIM-XSpecialised Imaginghypervelocity impactEuropeBusinessimagingResearch & Technologyeducation

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