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Space manufacturing structures and details of engineering structures

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ECSS-E-ST-32C Rev.1 – Structural general requirements (15 November 2008)

VIDEO ON THE TOPIC: Space Environments and Planetary Civil Engineering

The aim of this work is to demonstrate the use of additive manufacturing with thermoplastic material in the whole functional structure of spacecraft and to mechanically qualify it for space flight. The qualification consisted of passing the vibration requirements in quasi-static, sine, and random tests to fly in PSLV launcher. Finally, a robustness test for the 3D-printed structure is included, and all the results are analyzed. Advanced Engineering Testing. The cost of putting a satellite into orbit is directly related to its mass.

In small satellites one of the subsystems that most contribute to the total mass of the system is the structural subsystem. However, this is normal because these structures are commonly made of metallic materials such as aluminum alloys [ 4 ], because they need to resist very demanding environmental conditions in space and very demanding mechanical conditions during the launch, and because they have to guarantee the integrity of the satellite itself and of the other satellites placed in the launcher.

However, additive manufacturing is enabling the use of new materials for space such as polyetherimide PEI [ 5 ]. Polyetherimide PEI is an amorphous thermoplastic very resistant to high and low temperatures, with a high glass transition temperature, and very resistant to mechanical loads [ 6 ] and has half the density of the aluminum.

The incorporation of this type of materials in the structure of satellites can highly reduce the mass of the overall system and the cost of putting it into space. Nevertheless, the incorporation of new materials and methods in a spacecraft requires a profound analysis and passing of very demanding tests to prove that it is qualified to be launched and to be performed with enough margin in the space environment [ 7 ]. During the launch, the structure will suffer extreme mechanical stress. The conditions are a combination of static and dynamic loads or mechanical aggressions [ 8 ] constituted by the static loads and acceleration, the pressure produced by the mechanical waves generated by the noise inside the launcher, and the vibrations produced by its motor and its structure, by all the other satellites onboard, and by the shocks when every stage of the launcher is separated or when the satellite is separated from the launcher.

These effects are combined as a random vibration in which shocks can be superimposed. In order to verify that a satellite can resist the launch, the launcher authorities provide a set of requirements that have to be fulfilled and verified through mechanical testing. These are modal survey vibration tests to identify the modes of vibration of the satellite to demonstrate that the main modes have higher frequencies than the launcher and that it will not enter in resonance, quasi-static vibration tests to demonstrate that the satellite resists the accelerations of the launcher, sine vibration tests to demonstrate that the satellite resists all the vibrations induced by the launcher, random vibration test to demonstrate that the satellite resists an emulated launch in which all the loads are combined, and shock vibration test to demonstrate that the satellite resists the shocks during the launch.

All the results are included in Section 3 and discussed in Section 4. The qualification of a new structural design for a spacecraft requires a very methodic procedure in which all the boundary conditions shall be considered and controlled with care: manufacturing environment and methodology, transport of the parts and their inspection, assembly, testing, and analysis. The whole process shall be completely controlled and monitored. In this section, the experiment is described, the methodology applied in the whole process is introduced, the test specimens are detailed, and the instrumentation and equipment used during the testing are specified.

The objective of this experiment is to validate the use of additive manufacturing technology with PEI to be implemented in functional structures of satellites.

The two test specimens are described in Section 2. To qualify the structure of the spacecraft, a structural model was assembled as part of the model philosophy established [ 10 ].

The structural model was constituted by the structural subsystem of the satellite functional structure and by mass dummies, which were mechanically equivalent to the real components of the satellite. For the design of the structural models, the complete avionics suite was substituted by mass dummies or mock-up representative of their functional counterparts not only in terms of envelope and mounting interfaces bolts but also in mass and center of gravity CoG.

All replicas were manufactured in aluminum and anodized to be preserved from corrosion. The total mass of mock-ups was 5. The structure in aluminum had a mass of 3. Table 1 shows the list of mock-ups with the most relevant mechanical properties: dimensions, mass, and coordinates of the center of gravity with respect to the geometric center of the satellite structure. Figure 2 depicts the mock-ups assembled in the structure.

Figure 3 shows the two test specimens populated with the mock-up avionics. The single circular window front pictures provided field of view for the payload camera.

The two orthogonal circular windows back pictures provided fields of view for the star trackers. The purpose of the overtures in the structure was to reduce the mass of the structure while providing access to manipulate inside the spacecraft during assembly activities.

The electrodynamic shaker stood over a concrete block by means of four silent blocks. Three accelerometers were used to record the measurements, one monoaxial B type used as control and two triaxial type for recording the response of the structural models.

The structural model was tested at qualification levels established by PSLV [ 11 ]. The applied loads to qualify the structure were the following: Modal survey: to identify the modes of the structural model, a modal survey was done.

This was done in every axis: X, Y, and Z. Quasi-static load QSL : it was characterized by a ramp up which increases amplitude levels from 0. The load profile is shown in Figure 5.

This test was done in every axis: X, Y, and Z. Sine load: with maximum acceleration amplitude of 2.

The load profile is shown in Figure 6. Random load: it was defined by a specific power spectral density PSD profile in function of the frequency. The profile is defined in Figure 7. This test was done in axis Z. However, this test specification was representative enough. The tests were done by following the standards [ 7 , 10 ]. For such a purpose, the bottom panels of the structures incorporated, near the corners, four M12 holes that were used to secure the test specimen on top of the mechanical interface with the slip table.

In a real launch scenario, this would imply the adoption of pyro-bolts to assemble the spacecraft to the launcher interface. This was the worst case scenario for qualification purposes of the structure.

It started with the selection of competitive providers to manufacture the parts. Once they were received, a careful incoming goods reception was done in order to validate that all the parts fulfilled the specifications defined.

This process consisted of inspecting from the parcel to its content, taking into account physical status and functionality. A report incoming inspection report was done in order to register every detail related to packaging, labeling, wrapping, isolation, external damages, and internal damages. Serial and part numbers were checked. Photos were also taken so that every aspect could be graphically supported. After the approval of the incoming inspection, the structural model was assembled to validate the design and manufacturing processes.

Once the assembly was successful, the structures were dismounted and protected, side panel by side panel, with bubble wrap, and they were packaged using shock-absorbing material. The same process was carried out to package the mock-ups. Then, the packaged parts and required tools were prepared to be sent to the test facilities. Transport documents packing list and annexes were prepared.

These documents contained information such as shipper, addressee, item description, references, gross weight, net weight, dimensions, and Incoterms. Incoterm is reflected the International Commercial Terms, i. When the goods arrived at the test facilities, the incoming goods reception process started again, and a new incoming inspection report was carried out. Transport documents were also checked.

Once the incoming inspection report was favorable, the structural model was assembled and mounted on the interface adapter with the slip table of the shaker. The following testing procedures were followed: Survey vibration test in the direction of the selected axis of the test specimen to detect the vibration modes.

Survey vibration test in the selected axis of the test specimen to detect if there were significant changes in the modes. Survey vibration test after the shock vibration test in the Z-axis of the test specimen to detect if there were significant changes in the modes. When the experiment was finished, the structures were dismounted and protected, side panel by side panel, with bubble wrap, and they were packaged using shock-absorbing material.

The same logistics and inspection processes explained before were followed to transport the parts back. All the unities were expressed in g 9. The red color line represents the signal of the accelerometer 1 in the longitudinal axis, the blue color line represents the accelerometer 2 in the longitudinal axis, and the magenta line represents the control signal. Table 2 summarizes the results obtained with the modal survey tests before and after the QSL, sine, and random tests were done.

All the values are provided with the measurements of accelerometer 1 since the values provided by accelerometer 2 did not differ significantly. Results of the tests in the X-axis. Results of the modal survey tests before and after the QSL, sine, and random vibration tests in the X-axis. With the modal survey, all the modes were characterized. The first mode was the most representative. This was located at The amplitude of the first mode was 3. For comparison, the main mode of the structure manufactured by CNC in aluminum had a frequency of The QSL test indicated that the structure behaved perfectly.

There was neither representative excitation nor attenuation in the structure. It perfectly followed the control signal without passing the limit values established by the control.

After this test was finished, the modal survey showed that there was no significant deviation of the modes. The amplitude of the first mode was increased to 3. The sine vibration test showed that the structural model entered in resonance at the frequencies of the first and the second modes. After this test, the first mode slightly changed the frequency to This represented no major changes in the structure. In the random vibration test, all the modes were excited.

After the test, the frequency of the first mode did not change Its amplitude was slightly reduced to 2. In addition, after all the tests, the structure was analyzed, and no visible changes were identified plastic deformation, broken screws, lost screws, and unassembled parts, among others , which means that all the tests were successfully passed. Table 3 summarizes the results obtained with the modal survey tests before and after the QSL, sine, and random tests were done.

As in the tests done in the X-axis, all the values are provided with the measurements of accelerometer 1 since the values provided by accelerometer 2 did not differ significantly. Results of the tests in the Y-axis.

Management Systems and Logistical Support. Space Environments. Structural Members Mechanisms.

Archinaut is a technology project developing the necessary additive manufacturing technology to build large-scale structures in space. The initial result will be a 3D printer capable of operating in-orbit, installed on a pod attached outside the International Space Station. Archinaut will include a robotic arm and will be able to fabricate, assemble and repair structures and machinery. The first structures to be built with Archinaut are antenna reflectors for communication satellites. During the test, MIS manufactured the first-ever extended 3D-printed objects in a space-like environment, a significant milestone on the path to manufacturing systems and satellites in space. The company quickly built on the success and, in July and August, used ESAMM hardware to manufacture a beam structure measuring over 37 meters in length, setting a Guinness Book of World Record for the largest 3D-printed structure.

Archinaut, a 3D Printing Robot to Make Big Structures in Space

Our company is pushing the Space industry forward. We focus on highly specialised companies such as satellite solar-array integrators, satellite structure integrators, small launcher integrators and mega-constellation primes. Airborne is focussed on making composites affordable for Space. Our proposition offers a disruption in price and production volume of panels by applying smart automation, which means: low CAPEX, flexible, scalable and transferable robotic solutions. Our current offerings for Space consist of the following solutions:. Airborne has delivered over state-of-the-art solar-array substrates to several paramount European satellites.

Introduction to Aerospace Structures and Materials

The aim of this work is to demonstrate the use of additive manufacturing with thermoplastic material in the whole functional structure of spacecraft and to mechanically qualify it for space flight. The qualification consisted of passing the vibration requirements in quasi-static, sine, and random tests to fly in PSLV launcher. Finally, a robustness test for the 3D-printed structure is included, and all the results are analyzed. Advanced Engineering Testing.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: How they build the world's tallest building Burj Khalifa - Construction Documentary
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So, when Made In Space created the first zero-gravity 3D printer, it was understandably a big deal. A robotic arm attached to the printer can piece these homegrown parts together with other pre-fabricated parts into a larger structure. No human required. The initial phase of the project will wrap up in when Archinaut will demonstrate the ability to 3D print and assemble structures in orbit. If all goes to plan, the team hopes to scale the printer up and add more robotic arms. The in-orbit manufacturing Archinaut promises would liberate missions from the typical constraints of launch. With Archinaut, engineers could design and build for space—and only space. Instead of sending up complete structures, we might launch key components such as sensors, electronics, and batteries along with raw materials to print the big stuff.

Structures jobs in Tewksbury, MA

Significantly, this looks to be the first system to manufacture useful commercial structures in space. NASA has already funded initial development work which started in The successful ground-based testing of core additive manufacturing and robotic technologies has now qualified the Archinaut platform for spaceflight.

First known studies of Space Frame Roof Systems were made by Alexander Graham Bell between and to compose hulls of some air and naval vehicles. Bell had sought to the lightest and strongest structures with tetrahedral geometry with these constructions.

Basic knowledge of Physics concepts of forces and moments, springs and temperature and some familiarity with aircraft and spacecraft terminology: e. How do you design an aircraft or spacecraft? Andin doing so, how do you keep the risk of failure minimal while bearing in mind that they will eventually fail? In this course you will be taken on a journey through the structural and material design of aircraft. You will see and understand how aircraft and spacecraft are manufactured, and learn how safety is enshrined at every stage. Experts from the Aerospace Structures and Materials Department of Delft University of Technology will help you explore and analyze the mechanical properties of materials; learning about manufacturing techniques, fatigue, loads and stresses, design considerations and more - all the scientific and engineering principles that structural and materials engineers face on a daily basis. By the end of the course, you will have learned to think like they do! Join us for an exciting learning experience that includes experiments; some of which you can do by yourself at home, online lectures, quizzes, and design assignments. This part presents the basic concepts of material properties and the phenomena of stress and strain in aircraft or spacecraft at different temperatures and in different environments. We introduce the properties and manufacturing methods of typical aerospace materials such as metals, ceramics and composites. We will let you play around and create your own materials and ask you to come up with your first design proposal.

See who you know at Space Structures GmbH, leverage your professional network, and get hired. Space Structures GmbH located in Berlin, Germany, is an independent engineering firm that specialises in systems and electronics, jigs, tools, MGSE, additive manufacturing, bolt software Structure Analysis Engineer.


Manufacturing large structures in space like space stations and space telescopes and could be also called 3D printing or additive manufacturing. In many cases starting from carbon composite structures. First launch in by Kleos Space to cure long composite booms for RF emissions monitoring antennas. Satellites and most space structures have been designed to fit into launcher fairing and to survive the launch environment. In other words, they are inefficient in terms of mass and volume or complicated deploymable systems. Manufacturing or atleast assembling many structures in space could mean they can be much lighter and weaker and larger. Archinaut from Made In Space is a technology platform that enables autonomous manufacture and assembly of spacecraft systems on orbit. Archinaut enables a wide range of in-space manufacturing and assembly capabilities by combining space-proven robotic manipulation with additive manufacturing demonstrated on the International Space Station ISS and in terrestrial laboratories. Optimast systems can be integrated into commercial satellites to produce large, space-optimized booms at a fraction of the cost of current deployables. Other implementations of Archinaut enable in-space production and assembly of backbone structures for large telescopes, repair, augmentation, or repurposing of existing spacecraft, and unmanned assembly of new space stations.

Spacecraft equipment

Structural Concepts. Thermal Control. Dynamics and Controls. Electronics Mechanisms Automation and Artificial Intelligence Materials General Subject Index.

Manufacturing of the International Space Station

It is actively involved in space applications since three decades, covering mainly satellite platforms, payloads and launchers. Design, development, manufacturing, assembly and testing aerospace structures and their associated systems. Large experience in design, development and manufacture of structures for launchers, re-entry vehicles, crew vehicles or space station. Experience in design, development and manufacture of structures for large instruments, including: optical benches, bipods, cylinder baffles or secondary and tertiary components.

Large Space Structures

Airbus is a proven, trusted equipment supplier offering an extensive portfolio for space-related applications in telecommunications, Earth and space observation, ground and space navigation, science, launchers and manned space flight. Airbus offers an avionics product portfolio that covers a complete range of compact and powerful onboard computers, new-generation GNSS Global Navigation Satellite System receivers, launcher electronics and other world-class platform data handling equipment and interface units. As a leading European manufacturer of power solutions, Airbus has vast experience in providing turnkey solar arrays, photovoltaic assemblies and solar cell assemblies for institutional and commercial applications.

Structural engineering

Thermal Control. Mechanisms Automation and Artificial Intelligence.

Structural engineering is a sub-discipline of civil engineering in which structural engineers are trained to design the 'bones and muscles' that create the form and shape of man made structures. Structural engineers need to understand and calculate the stability, strength and rigidity of built structures for buildings [1] and nonbuilding structures. The structural designs are integrated with those of other designers such as architects and building services engineer and often supervise the construction of projects by contractors on site. See glossary of structural engineering.

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