Numerical analysis study to validate experimental vibration results of CubeSats
by Pedro Rivera; Eltahry Elghandour; Xi Wu
International Journal of Sustainable Materials and Structural Systems (IJSMSS), Vol. 5, No. 4, 2021

Abstract: CubeSats are cost-effective nanosatellites that undergo dynamic testing for launch qualification (NASA, 2013). The work presented here recreates a vibration test setup using finite element analysis (FEA) in order to predict and validate the dynamic response of a CubeSat test assembly. A Poly Picosatellite Orbital Deployer (P-Pod) is used as the housing and ejection mechanism for CubeSats. For modelling purposes however, a simplified P-Pod (test pod) was used, along with a mass model to represent a CubeSat. Sine sweep and random vibration tests were performed for the test pod and mass model. CAD geometry and material properties were imported into the FEA solver Abaqus to analyse the modes, natural frequencies, and damped response of the CubeSat assemblies. Comparing the FEA results to experimental data, the first six natural frequencies of the test pod were generated with an average 7% error and an average 4% error for the first eight modes of the test pod with mass model assembly. The validated FEA template was then applied to CubeSat CPX, a concept design structure used to demonstrate the application of the FEA models developed in this work.

Online publication date: Thu, 03-Mar-2022

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