Quasi-static and Dynamic Response of a Nanosatellite During Launch

  • Ali N. Alhammadi

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


During launch, a nanosatellite experiences high quasi-static and dynamic loads. Resultant structural responses could cause fatal structural damage; therefore, it is fundamental to analyze the nanosatellite's structure before handing it to the launch provider. This is primarily done through numerical and experimental procedures. MYSAT-1, the first nanosatellite developed at Khalifa University, was subjected to extensive structural analyses. Multiple types of analyses were performed on MYSAT-1's structure, such as quasistatic loading and modal analyses. Numerical, analytical and experimental techniques were utilized to produce results. The commercially available finite element analysis software package Abaqus was utilized. Two main finite element modelling techniques were used to model the structure: simplified and detailed modeling techniques. Six different quasi-static loading analysis scenarios that correspond to an equal loading of 13G on the positive and negative directions of the X, Y and Z-axes, were created. Modal analysis was conducted to identify the natural frequencies and the modal shapes of several finite element models that correspond to various surface interaction conditions of the structural frame fasteners. Experimental tests were conducted on the nanosatellite and the results were compared with those obtained from the numerical simulations. The testing routine consisted of a random vibration run, preceded and followed by sine sweeps. Shifts in the natural frequency before and after the random vibration were reported and explained. Moreover, analytical solutions of the quasi-static loading cases were generated. The vibration test results and the analytical solutions were found to conform with the finite element analysis results to a good extent. Conclusions on the effectiveness of the various modelling methods are provided.
Date of AwardMar 2020
Original languageAmerican English


  • Nanosatellite
  • CubeSat
  • finite element analysis
  • vibration.

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