Thermomechanical effects of ground-based directed energy weapons on satellites and Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles
Pace, Phillip E.
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Thermo mechanical modeling and simulation of a satellite and intercontinental ballistic missile assumes importance due to the increased interest in assessing the potential of such attacks. Effective and innovative methods are sought in assessing the structural integrity of such structural components. In this study, we present modeling and simulation aspects of two generic models loaded by high energy laser beam. We present an application of MSC software in modeling thermo-mechanical behavior, both steady state and transient behavior of satellite and missile structures. Thermal energies used for simulation correspond to high energy laser flux available at low earth orbits as reported in literature. A brief review of the concepts involved is outlined. The analysis is performed under several scenarios that include thermal failures due to steady state as well as transient thermal exposures. The thermal exposure times and locations are varied to assess typical failure modes of the structure. Analysis is done in order to define suitable material thicknesses that will make a satellite or a ballistic missile hardened enough to withstand these specific amounts of energy. Other parameters of interest pertaining to this study are the pulse width, and resulting transient phenomena affecting the behavior. Temperature gradients as well as resulting thermal stresses and thermal deformations are reported in this study.
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