SMOS payload testing

Structures and Mechanisms

A spacecraft’s structure is its underlying body, tasked with keeping the spacecraft suitably rigid to support its instruments and subsystems. Mechanisms, conversely, are onboard devices whose function is based around movement.

What is the Structures and Mechanisms domain?

Structures and Mechanisms involves all activities connected to the launcher and satellite structure and the moving parts associated with it. The structure provides a strong supporting framework to house payloads, instruments and satellite subsystems, especially through the stresses of launch.

Moving mechanisms attached to the rigid structure are crucial to mission success. They include motors, reaction wheels and deployment systems for folded-down antennas or solar arrays. Other examples include sensor pointing and scanning mechanisms, gravity-detecting gradiometers and valve and turbopump components for propellant systems.

Last update: 22 April 2010

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