Mechanics / structure

In the mechanical structure of a satellite, a distinction is made between the primary structure to which all satellite components are fixed, secondary structures, e.g. for the precise positioning of certain devices (reaction wheels, sensors, antennas) and movable mechanisms used for unfolding antennas, solar generators etc. or to ensure that they are able to track the sun.

OHB develops various processes and technologies for meeting the various requirements in this area:

  • Computer-aided simulation of the load conditions within the primary structure during the launch phase to verify compliance with rigidity, strength and stability requirements for the load-bearing satellite cell. Utilization of specific software packages: NASTRAN, HyperMesh, Optistruct, LS-Dyna.
  • This is used as a basis for the selection of materials and the dimensioning of structural components using modern CAD software packages such as Unigraphics NX or CATIA.
  • Utilization of differential paneling, integral, carbon and aluminum sandwich structures.
  • Simulation of thermal/mechanic distortion as a result of changing temperature fields in orbit and definition of measures to limit these effects.
  • Development of new structural materials and systems with a high rigidity-to-weight ratio to optimize the satellite mass.

Analysis of micro-vibrations and their effect on the precise alignment of the satellite. Micro-vibrations may be caused by reaction wheels or the inherent vibration of the solar panels.