Satellite structure

in space.

Satellite Structure

A satellite structure is the backbone of the satellite and is also used as an instrument platform for mounting optical or other instruments. The structure consists of struts and panels, cylinders and rods. Sandwich structures are often used as its main elements because they combine low weight with high stiffness. Other frequently used materials are aluminum and fiber-reinforced plastics.

What we offer

Our structure development and production processes include:

• CAD design (SolidWorks),
• structural analysis (SolidWorks Simulation, NASTRAN),
◦ Performance analysis
◦ Mechanical and Stress analysis
◦ Thermoelastic analysis
• thermal analysis (NASTRAN, ESATAN),
• machining (laser cutting, sawing, turning, CNC milling, bending),
• conversion coating (trivalent chromium coating (SURTEC650), passivation),
• thermo-optical coating (white painting, black painting),
• assembly (adhesive bonding, fastening, riveting, taping),
• verification (3D measurement, vibration testing, proof load tests),
• cleaning (bakeout, critical cleaning in ISO 8 cleanroom / ISO 5 clean bench).

Primary structures

During a Hungarian R&D project financed by EU, a spacecraft mockup has been built made of aluminium struts and aluminium honeycomb sandwich panels.

Structures can be classified into primary and secondary / terciary structures. Primary structures are designed to transmit loads through the spacecraft to the interface of the launch vehicle and deployment system. For contrast, secondary structures are all other structures (like solar panels, instrument brackets) that only need to support all other hardware components like instruments, harnesses etc.

Secondary structures

During the past few years, Admatis gained experience by manufacturing and testing structural parts. The company delivered specially coated optical baffles, thermal shields and brackets for the Sentinel-2 satellites as part of Mechanical, Mechanical and Thermal Hardware (MMTH) package. Sentinel-2A and 2B satellites were launched in 2015 and 2017 while Sentinel-2 C and D satellites will be launched in 2021. Half of the package were build-to-print, while the other half were designed by ADM including extensive thermal and structural FE analysis. All parts have a type of surface treatment: chromate conversion coating, black or white optical paints or passivation.

Thanks to the successful implementation during Sentinel-2C/D production, Admatis was contracted to deliver more than 20 types of brackets and shims for optical hardware. The majority of those hardware is made of Invar and titanium.

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