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Flight

Micrometeoroid and Debris Detection Monitors

T & M Engineering's Micrometeoroid and debris detectors have flown on 18 missions including LDEF, EuReCa, STS missions and Mir. On Mir, PZT plates on the ICA payload gave time stamped data on impact rates confirming the existence of space debris clouds in LEO fist measured on LDEF. In addition, ICA was the first instrument to actively measure a meteor stream, the Leonids, in November 1995. Both passive and active detectors are available and configured to match the customer's requirements for exposure area, sensitivity, including electronic packages for telemetry.

Passive detectors include:

  • Metal plates, (Ni, Au, Al, etc. of varying sizes)
  • Thin foils (metals, polymers in various sizes and thicknesses)
  • Micropore foam Uniquely developed in-house micropore foam is used to capture hypervelocity particles intact. Densities of foam vary from 0.005 g/cc to 0.03 g/cc, sizes up to 40x40x3cm. Various coatings are available as well as closed and open cell configurations)
  • Aerogel (again used for intact capture)

Active detectors (with associated electronics) include:

  • PZT
  • Microphonic sensors
  • Hybrid detectors utilising various detection methods