Structural finite element analysis of stiffened and honeycomb panels of the RASAT satellite

Ontac S., DAĞ S., Goekler M. I.

3rd International Conference on Recent Advances in Space Technologies, İstanbul, Turkey, 14 - 16 June 2007, pp.171-172 identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Doi Number: 10.1109/rast.2007.4283971
  • City: İstanbul
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.171-172
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This paper describes the structural analysis carried out on the main stiffened and honeycomb panels of the RASAT satellite. The analysis here supports the design process and aims to ensure that the panels survive structural qualification testing. This analysis therefore forms part of the overall qualification process. The stiffened and honeycomb panels being considered in this document form the outer box structure of the satellite. These panels consist of the space-facing facet (SFF), solar panels including solar cells and earth facing facet (EFF). All these panels are key parts of the satellite's structure and are critical to mission safety. The separation panel is particularly highly loaded, since it supports the battery pack, reaction wheels, gyro module, magnetorquer rods and sun sensors. The separation panel also supports the solar panel assembly. The solar panels are also of critical importance, their integrity maintaining the required power supply to operate the satellite's electronic systems. As being different from the SFF and EFF, the solar panels are made of aluminum honeycomb panels. The solar panels are particularly sensitive, as they carry arrays of delicate ceramic solar cells together with their wiring. Throughout all loading conditions experienced during the mission, the solar panels must continue to support the solar cells without cell failures or wiring disconnections. The EFF is perhaps the least critical of the stiffened panels but still must support the top of the solar panel assembly and must carry various antennae.