Fiber-Optic Micrometeoroid/Orbital Debris Impact Detector System

A document describes a reliable, lightweight micrometeoroid/orbital debris (MMOD) detection system that can be located at strategic positions of “high consequence” to provide real-time warning of a penetration, its location, and the extent of the damage to a spacecraft.

The concept is to employ fiber-optic sensors to detect impact damage and penetration of spacecraft structures. The fibers are non-electrical, employ light waves, and are immune to electromagnetic interference.

The fiber-optic sensor array can be made as a standalone product, being bonded to a flexible membrane material or a structure that is employed as a MMOD shield material. The optical sensors can also be woven into hybrid MMOD shielding fabrics. The glass fibers of the fiber-optic sensor provide a dual purpose in contributing to the breakup of MMOD projectiles. The grid arrays can be made in a modular configuration to provide coverage over any area desired. Each module can be connected to a central scanner instrument and be interrogated in a continuous or periodic mode.

This work was done by Eric L. Christiansen of Johnson Space Center and R.C. Tennyson and W.D. Morison of Fiber Optic Systems Technology Inc. (FOX-TEK).

In accordance with Public Law 96-517, the contractor has elected to retain title to this invention. Inquiries concerning rights for its commercial use should be addressed to:

  Fiber Optic Systems Technology Inc.
  4580 Dufferin St. Suite 402
  Toronto, Ontario, Canada M3H 5Y2


This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).

Fiber-Optic Micrometeoroid/Orbital Debris Impact Detector System (reference MSC-23934-1) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

Please Login at the top of the page to download.


White Papers

Roller Pinion System: An Alternative to Traditional Linear Drive Systems
Sponsored by nexen
Comparison of Interface Pressure Measurement Options
Sponsored by Tekscan
Automated Inspection Lowers Solar Cell Costs
Sponsored by Teledyne DALSA
Piezo Motors Power MRI Robot
Sponsored by micromo
R&S® SMB100A, NRP, FSW-K6, ZVL Radar Educational Videos
Sponsored by Rohde and Schwarz A and D
Gearing Up for Parametric Test’s High Voltage Future
Sponsored by Keithley Instruments

White Papers Sponsored By: