IDAC was tasked with conducting a Linear Static Structural Analysis of two satellite antennas for HITEC. Both designs, namely VINA and GTTC, were built with the purpose of ground tracking and control of satellites for commercial use, respectively, for the European version of the GPS constellation. As the current design stands, the antenna consists of a Reflector Dish that is shaped and held together by a skeletal Back-Up Structure, which then is attached to the Centre Hub. The entire assembly sits on a Yoke that can rotate in the azimuth and elevation planes. When analysing the antennas, five million degrees of freedom had to be evaluated and analysed.
The primary objectives of the analysis were twofold. The first was to ensure the stiffness of the assembly under its own weight and the second was to validate the design under wind and ice loading conditions.
As a starting step, the Autodesk Inventor CAD model had to be de-featured. Then using ANSYS DesignModeler, the geometry was split for the attachment of boundary conditions. In addition, this process also speeds up the run time for the analysis and eases mesh generation. Special care was taken when creating the mesh, as certain directional load paths had to be considered on specific components under different loading conditions.