Reentry response of the lightweight radioisotope heater unit resulting from a Cassini Venus-Venus-Earth-Jupiter gravity assist maneuver accident

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Reentry analyses consisting of ablation response, thermal response and thermal stress response have been conducted on the Lightweight Radioisotope Heater Unit (LWRHU) for Cassini/Venus-Venus-Earth-Jupiter-Gravity-Assist (VVEJGA) reentry conditions. Sequential ablation analyses of the LWRHU aeroshell, and the fuel pellet have been conducted in reentry regimes where the aeroshell has been deemed to fail. The failure criterion for ablation is generally assumed to be recession corresponding to 75% and 100% of the wall thickness. The 75% recession failure criteria allows for uncertainties that result mainly because of the high energies involved in the VVEJGA reentries compared to orbital decay reentries. Risk evaluations ... continued below

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301 p.

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Creator: Unknown. December 1, 1996.

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Description

Reentry analyses consisting of ablation response, thermal response and thermal stress response have been conducted on the Lightweight Radioisotope Heater Unit (LWRHU) for Cassini/Venus-Venus-Earth-Jupiter-Gravity-Assist (VVEJGA) reentry conditions. Sequential ablation analyses of the LWRHU aeroshell, and the fuel pellet have been conducted in reentry regimes where the aeroshell has been deemed to fail. The failure criterion for ablation is generally assumed to be recession corresponding to 75% and 100% of the wall thickness. The 75% recession failure criteria allows for uncertainties that result mainly because of the high energies involved in the VVEJGA reentries compared to orbital decay reentries. Risk evaluations should consider the fact that for shallow flight paths the unit may disassemble at high-altitude as a result of ablation or may remain intact with a clad that had been molten. Within the limitations of the methodologies and assumptions of the analyses, the results indicate that: (1) For a side-on stable LWRHU reentry, aeroshell ablation failures occur for all reentry angles. (2)For a side-on spinning LWRHU reentry, aeroshell ablation failures are minimal. (3) For the tumbling LWRHU reentry, the aeroshell survives for most angles. (4) For the thermostructural analyses, using both a 1% and 5% allowable strain, all reentry angles and orientations examined resulted in small localized failures, but aeroshell breach is not predicted for any case. The analyses included in this report concentrate on VVEJGA reentry scenarios. Analyses reported previously have demonstrated that the LWRHU has adequate design margin to survive reentry from orbital decay scenarios and most injection scenarios at speeds up to escape speeds. The exception is a narrow range of flight path angles that produce multiple skip trajectories which may have excessive ablation.

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301 p.

Notes

INIS; OSTI as DE98005013

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  • Other Information: PBD: Dec 1996

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  • Other: DE98005013
  • Report No.: DOE/NE/32170--24
  • Report No.: ANSP-M--24
  • Grant Number: AI01-93NE32170
  • DOI: 10.2172/610273 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 610273
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc697499

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Creation Date

  • December 1, 1996

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Aug. 14, 2015, 8:43 a.m.

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  • May 16, 2016, 5:25 p.m.

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Reentry response of the lightweight radioisotope heater unit resulting from a Cassini Venus-Venus-Earth-Jupiter gravity assist maneuver accident, report, December 1, 1996; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc697499/: accessed July 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.