An investigation of the possible effects of micrometeorites in reducing the useful lifetime of a spherical, wire-mesh, passive-reflector communication satellite. Theoretical conditions are postulated under which a wire composing part of the mesh might be severed by a hypervelocity collision with a micrometeorite. This criterion, taken with the known flux of micrometeorites, is used to compute the probability that such collisions will degrade the electrical performance of such a reflector. It is concluded that they will not significantly affect its useful lifetime.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Research memorandum series. The Research Memorandum was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1973 that represented working papers meant to report current results of RAND research to appropriate audiences.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.