ISO 11227:2012 describes an experimental procedure for assessing the behaviour, under orbital debris or meteoroid impacts, of materials that are intended to be used on the external surfaces of spacecraft and launch vehicle orbital stages. ISO 11227:2012 provides a unified method by which to rank materials. The ejecta production characteristics of different materials are compared under standardized conditions in which test parameters are fixed to one number. Optional tests with different parameters are also useful for the proper selection of materials in other conditions, and they could be performed as research items.
ISO 11227:2012 establishes the requirements to be satisfied for the test methods in order to characterize the amount of ejecta produced when a surface material is impacted by a hypervelocity projectile. Its purpose is to evaluate the ratio of ejecta total mass to projectile mass, and the size distribution of the fragments. These are the necessary inputs for modelling the amount of impact ejecta that a surface material might release during its orbital lifetime, thereby helping to assess its suitability for space use while mitigating the production of small space debris.
The purpose of ISO 11227:2012 is to provide data that need to be taken into account in the selection of outer spacecraft materials, though the selection is not based on these criteria alone.
The experimental procedure defines
- the type of facility to be used,
- the size, velocity and type of projectile to be used,
- the evaluation of impact ejecta released,
- the reporting of test results, and
- the quality requirements to be used.
ISO 11227:2012 is applicable to spacecraft and launch vehicles operating in all types of Earth orbits.