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Exploring new tools and methods for acoustic testing in the space industry

05 July 2018

The launch of a communication satellite into space is a traumatic event for its parts and pieces. Components are heavily exposed to the eventuality of breakdown or damage, yet engineers need to ensure that the satellite reaches its orbit in faultless operating condition.

Satellite qualification testing is the ultimate step of a satellite development process. This step certifies that every single satellite element will survive the traumatic launch conditions. Relying on decades of experience in delivering dedicated solutions for dynamic environmental testing, Siemens PLM Software is the preferred partner of space agencies worldwide for satellite qualification testing. The combined capabilities of Simcenter Testlab software and Simcenter SCADAS hardware, both part of the Simcenter portfolio, ensure safe and efficient qualification testing. Thales Alenia Space, a leading European space satellite and payloads manufacturer, partners with Siemens PLM Software to explore new methods for satellite testing. 

Reforming methods

Dynamic environmental testing encompasses a number of essential tests, amongst which acoustic testing. Acoustic testing subjects an item to intense noise levels while measuring its vibration response. This test is performed on both component (reflectors, solar panels) and system (full satellite) levels. It is traditionally performed in acoustic reverberant rooms. In these facilities, engineers simulate the noise field that excites the satellite in the fairing of the launcher. This testing method is safe, reliable and accurate, while at the same time extremely costly and time-consuming. 

Read the rest of the article in the July issue of DPA

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