Currently the problem of the increasing pollution of circumterrestrial space by debris becomes more urgent. The probability of the Space Station collision with different anthropogenic particles also increases. Besides, there is a probability of a collision with meteoroids moving in interplanetary space (meteoroid is a celestial body intermediate in size between the interplanetary dust and asteroid).
As a result of the space object collision with the Station body the Station modules depressurization can occur. Depressurization is a real danger as a result of which a instantaneous decision must be accepted to remove a leak.
The unfortunate experience of the Station modules depressurization in manned cosmonautics history was gained when the Spektr Module depressurization of the Mir Space Station occurred. Then it was not possible to find the module leak area and restore its operation. All this shows the importance of online detection of the breakdown area as theoretically a breakdown can occur in any area and at any time despite the fact that control of space debris around the ISS is exerted continuously, and, if required, the MCC specialists "force" the ISS to perform "The debris avoidance maneuver".
In the experiment science hardware Breakdown is used, which is a system for online defining the coordinates of the Station module breakdown by meteoroidal or anthropogenic particle. A portable acoustic impulse source serves as the breakdown simulator.
Science hardware Breakdown consists of the following components:
- set of small microphones with preamplifiers placed inside the Station;
The microphones serve to convert the mentioned acoustic wave into an electric signal;
- portable acoustic impulse source serving to simulate the pressurized module breakdown;
- microphone signals recording and processing units;
The units contain amplifiers, analog-to-digital converters serving for recording impulse and continuous noise and data transfer to the onboard Laptop using WiFi network and external removable media;
- cable network for electric signals transmission from microphones.
The onboard Laptop communicates with science hardware recording units using wireless network WiFi. This allows to receive data from different compartments of the Service Module. ASCU (acoustic signal conversion unit) is placed in the working compartment of SM (Service Module). SR (stand-alone recorder) in the first part of the experiment was located in the Transfer Compartment of the module; currently it is accommodated in SM transfer chamber. In each compartment there are 6 microphones according to specially developed configuration.
The onboard Laptop is intended for receiving and processing the files with the "breakdown" signals coming from the recording units and defining under specially developed program the coordinates of the source location of the pulse acoustic wave simulating the acoustic wave at the breakdown of the Station body by a high-rate particle.
Information with the breakdown coordinates from the simulator is displayed on the screen and entered in the electronic protocol. The files with the "breakdown" signals from the simulator and the filled electronic protocol are downlinked. More detailed information on noise onboard the Service Module, accumulated in the recording units internal memory is periodically dumped to external removable media.
View of the Laptop Screen when Operating with the "Breakdown" Simulator