Multibody General Applications

The Mechanisms Section performs detailed analyses involving flexible bodies with time-varying characteristics and control algorithms. The software programs used are DCAP (based on a ‘fast’, ‘effective’ and ‘symbolic’ formulation), Adams, SIMPACK and SAMCEF Mecano.
Several Mechanisms Dynamics Activities have been performed in support of numerous projects:
  • design and analyse mechanisms systems
  • assess parametric design solutions and to optimise the performances of structures and mechanisms
  • predict the static, kinematics and dynamic behaviour of mechanical systems
  • animate the motion of dynamic, solid models
  • simulate control loops incorporating mechanical parts, e.g. mechanisms active structures
  • perform conceptual design studies and correlate test and analysis data
  • investigate the performance and possible malfunction of mechanical systems, including in-orbit
  • modelling complex devices and mechanisms control design
  • coupled system frequencies and time responses

  • modelling unconventional S/C dynamics, including orbital environment disturbances
  • control laws, including sensors and actuation dynamics
  • coupled system frequencies and time responses
  • docking phase analyses

Launch Vehicles:
  • non-linear time dynamic simulations for flexible bodies with time varying characteristics
  • atmospheric environment including external disturbance
  • launch vehicle flight dynamics-control interaction (directly imported into Matlab)
  • frequency domain analysis
  • multiple nozzles dynamics capabilities
  • local analyses (gust response, lift off, multi-payload separations)
  • collision avoidance
  • data recovery procedure

Last update: 19 January 2011

Conference papers

 •  Variable mass and Simulink I/F (pdf) (
 •  Data Recovery Procedure (pdf) (

Related article

 •  DCAP
Thales Alenia Space Italy

Related Links

 •  SAMCEF Mecano
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 •  Adams

ESA Workshop

 •  1st ESA Workshop on Multibody Dynamics for Space Applications (


 •  MAST overview (pdf) (

More information

 •  Multibody & Advanced Simulation Team (
 •  Bearing Life Assessment (
 •  Electromagnetics, Electrostatics (
 •  Feasibilities studies (CDF) (
 •  ISS payloads (
 •  Launcher Flight Dynamics Simulator (
 •  Mechanism Component Analysis (
 •  On-Ground Test and In-Flight Telemetry Data Analysis (