Simulation Could Ensure Satellites Perform as Expected During Environmental Testing

(April 20, 2016) Satellite simulations could help optimize the design of satellites prior to environmental testing, so that they’ll ideally perform as expected.

Spaceref.com stated, “Twin studies were performed for [the European Space Agency] by Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space, looking back through the development of previous space missions, including Gaia, the Sentinels, Mars Express and Venus Express.”

ESA’s Software Systems Division verification engineer, Joachim Fuchs, explained, “We were asking if there is anything we can do earlier in the process from the point of view of system verification – in plain words, checking if the mission will perform the way we want it to.”

So far, a mission development cycle in phases has been well established, according to Spaceref.

Fuchs details the importance of testing: “If before we have any physical hardware to test, we can create a digital equivalent, then that allows us to try out certain things – basically to identify any undesirable performance and behaviour as early as possible.

“Of course, the resulting hardware would still have to undergo the same kind of environmental testing, but the hope would be that its design could really be optimised and ready for the job it will do.”

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Image courtesy, European Space Agency


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