Terms of Reference

The Structures Section is the centre of competence within the Agency for all aspects related to mechanical systems configuration engineering, structural design and verification, and for all matters relating to meteoroids & debris impact shielding systems. It provides support to projects, preparatory programs and technology programs related to:
  • structural design, engineering and verification of manned and unmanned spacecraft, modules, payloads, and equipment;
  • overall structural configuration studies including instrument and equipment accommodation on spacecraft, as well as launch vehicle and satellite interfaces;
  • special purpose structures (e.g., for antennae, light weight mirrors, protective shields, high-stability structures, high or low temperature structures, special fastening techniques)
  • configuration analysis and evaluation of constraints (e.g., mass budgets, mass balance, field of view, envelopes);
  • derivation of mechanical design loads associated with space flight, orbital and ground environment, as well as derivation of test loads and requirements;
  • definition and post processing of mechanical test programmes for spacecraft and launcher structures;
  • prediction of structural response, evaluation of test results, correlation of test results with analytical predictions and updating of mathematical models;
  • application of advanced manufacturing techniques and advanced structural materials, including the definition of testing and characterisation requirements, where relevant in collaboration with other D/TEC sections;
  • development of Entry, Descent and Landing Systems (EDLS), including heat-shields, parachutes and landing attenuation systems such as landing legs and airbags;
  • definition of deployable structures/booms for deployable shields, solar sails, de-orbiting systems and other spacecraft applications;
  • definition and development of methods for active control of structures, and structure-control interaction modelling;
  • definition and development of methods for passive and active noise and micro-vibration/jitter suppression, and for control of micro-gravity environment;
  • elaboration and development of mechanical systems configuration-, design-, verification- and integrity approaches and methodologies within the Agency;
  • elaboration of advanced mechanical testing and test evaluation techniques, including modal identification;
  • maintenance of a CAD repository for spacecraft and launchers configuration study data;
  • all mechanical aspects related to the impact of meteoroids & debris on structures and equipment, as well as the development of impact protection devices, including related analysis and testing;
  • structural static / dynamic / stability/ vibro-acoustic / thermo-elastic/ shock / damage tolerance/fluid-structure interaction analyses in support to on-going spacecraft and launcher programs;
  • support the development of new technologies for structural design / hot structures concepts and materials/health monitoring concepts for Reusable Launch/Re-entry Vehicles;
  • development of tools and methodologies for dynamic analysis of spacecraft and launchers, e.g. Coupled Loads Analysis and Shock propagation analysis, low, medium and high frequency;
  • development of stochastic analysis tools, design methods and probabilistic verification approaches.

ARIANE-5 and VEGA launch vehicles
ARIANE-5 and VEGA launch vehicles
Last update: 5 December 2012