The SAMj destructive re-entry framework simulates the aerodynamic and thermal loading to a multi-component vehicle as it re-enters the atmosphere. Using a component-centric network vehicle model, it predicts spacecraft fragmentation and ablation to provide an assessment of the on-ground casualty risk associated with a controlled or uncontrolled entry.

SAMj can be integrated into the ESA PADRE probabilistic framework to perform large-scale stochastic assessments of re-entry events involving more than 107 simulations.

The SAMj toolkit has been used in numerous ESA and UKSA activities where its flexibility and performance have allowed it to be applied a broad range of projects, including:

  • Design activities that seek to assess and reduce casualty risk by implementing Design-for-Demise techniques.
  • Hypersonic wind tunnel tests, where its ability to rebuild experiments significantly increases the scientific value of results.
  • Projects to investigate the application of stochastic techniques to re-entry evaluations.
  • Studies into the long term attitude dynamics of vehicles after end-of-mission.
  • Assessments of the attitude stability of spacecraft with drag augmentation devices.

SAMj has also been used as a research tool on an activity to enhance ESA's re-entry certification tool, DRAMA.

  • Integrated - Automated chains of simulations can be constructed. These comprise aerothermal database evaluations, 3dof/6dof trajectory simulations with integrated heating and fragmentation assessment.
  • Applied with understanding - Belstead Research leverages its understanding of aerothermal phenomena to maximise the reliability of SAMj results.
  • Accurate - SAMj has been benchmarked against the published results from other spacecraft re-entry tools, including ESA DRAMA, HTG SCARAB and CNES DEBRISK.
  • Scalable - SAMj has been used to run large scale probabilistic campaigns on cloud infrastructure involving 105 assessments of vehicles represented by networks of 200+ components.
  • Configurable - All aspects of SAMj can be configured using JavaScript. This enables sequences of simulations and complex conditional scenarios to be scripted. Uncertainties in all configuration properties can be considered in the casualty assessment.
  • Portable - Written in a combination of Java and JavaScript, SAMj is fully supported on Windows, Unix / Linux and OS X.