Over the summer, the HVIL group hosted a team from the University of North Dakota (UND) for a series of hypervelocity impact (HVI) tests. These experiments were conducted to aid the Advanced Research Moon Operations and Resiliency (ARMOR) project, which is spearheaded by PhD candidate Jacob Yates and supervised by Professor Emeritus James Casler from UND’s Space Studies Department. Yates is concentrating his research on assessing the risks posed by meteoroid ejecta in upcoming lunar activities. His study employs two distinct types of ejecta debris to test materials that could be used in future moon missions.
“Having a state-of-the-art lab that specializes in impact analysis at the hypervelocity speeds is a real benefit for research teams like ours. The HVIL team were great and professional in facilitating our equipment and logistics requirements for our test program” – Jacob Yates, UND
NASA JSC Team and the HVIL led by Thomas Lacy at the Center for Infrastructure Renewal.
In January 2023, NASA JSC team led by Drs. Eric Christiansen, the Hypervelocity Impact Technology (HVIT) lead, and Heather Cowardin of the Orbital Debris Program office toured the Hypervelocity Impact Laboratory (HVIL) at the Center for Infrastructure Renewal Center on the RELLIS campus recently.
The focus was road mapping research collaborations between NASA and the TAMU HVIL related to hypervelocity impact testing and analysis of shielding concepts for micrometeoroid and orbital debris (MMOD) and other hypersonic vehicle applications.
In January, researchers at Texas A&M University developed a suite of state-of-the-art laboratory testing and advanced in-situ optical diagnostic tools for analyzing near-space weather encounters of projectiles traveling at hypersonic speeds. When objects travel at hypersonic speeds through the air, atmospheric weather effects including rain, snow, ice and suspended particles can cause severe damage to surfaces and material systems and influence boundary layers, changing the overall flight path. Solid and liquid particle interactions on materials systems at hypersonic speeds are poorly understood and also difficult to predict by complex computational models. The Texas A&M activities simulated real-world phenomena by firing hypervelocity projectiles through particle fields, as well as impacting simultaneously launched fine particles on selected material targets… read more
As part of a severe weather special, Chandlor Gyorke from CBS 19 in Tyler, TX, visited the Hypervelocity Impact Laboratory (HVIL) on Friday, April 8, 2022. The HVIL researchers weighed in on the importance of seeking proper safety during a tornado. The HVIL experimental setup, typically geared toward launching projectiles to velocities ranging 1.5–8.0 km/s (3,400–18,000 mph), was modified to perform supporting impact experiments at velocities consistent with peak tornado wind speeds (200–300 mph). The modified setup and corresponding high-rate diagnostics were used to study the response of sample building materials (e.g., plywood and drywall) and representative exterior wall structures. The experiments showed that projectiles impacting at 200 to 300 mph had residual (exit) velocities 25–50% lower than the impact velocity depending on target (i.e., representative “wall”) construction. Furthermore, the results of these tests emphasize the importance of maximizing the number of walls between those at risk and the exterior (e.g., seeking shelter in a centrally located room or space).
Video Credit: CBS 19 2022 (https://www.cbs19.tv)