Dr. Eric Christiansen is the NASA lead for Micrometeoroid and Orbital Debris (MMOD) protection. He has developed and patented low-weight and highly effective MMOD shields used on the International Space Station (ISS), inflatable modules, Stardust and other spacecraft. He is responsible for NASA MMOD risk assessments supported by hypervelocity impact tests that determine high-risk areas of the spacecraft which are then the focus of risk reduction efforts. He has assessed MMOD risk to Shuttle, Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV)/Orion and other NASA reentry vehicles which are covered with thermal protection system (TPS) materials. His work led to adopting operational techniques to reduce MMOD risk to NASA spacecraft, such as selecting low-risk attitudes/flight orientations, and using TPS inspection/repair prior to reentry to mitigate MMOD risk. He helped develop MMOD hardened radiator panels for ISS and Shuttle. He is currently working on technologies to integrate impact damage detection and location sensors into NASA MMOD shields, and to incorporate other functions into MMOD shields such as thermal and radiation protection.
On April 24, 2015, Dr. Eric Christiansen received a Rotary Stellar Award at the 2015 Rotary National Awards for Space Achievement. This award recognizes Dr. Christiansen’s many years of outstanding leadership of hypervelocity impact testing and technology development to improve crew and spacecraft safety from both micrometeoroid and orbital debris.
For more information on the Hypervelocity Impact Technology work being conducted by NASA_ARES visit: http://ares.jsc.nasa.gov/HVIT/index.cfm.