Apr 5, 2011

MSC Patran and Sinda Simulate Extreme Thermal Conditions in Violet Satellite Spacecraft

SANTA ANA, CA - MSC Software (MSC) has announced that the Violet Satellite project team at Cornell University selected MSC Software's finite element analysis pre-and-post processor, Patran, to accurately model and predict extreme component and environmental temperatures in the Violet Satellite spacecraft.

The Violet Satellite project is the first operational agile nanosatellite. It uses eight Control Moment Gyroscopes (CMGs) to demonstrate high-agility altitude control and novel CMG steering laws. Integrated inside the satellite is a new and groundbreaking type of flight computer called the Maestro Processor. The project team utilizes simulation methods to assess the satellite's survivability in an extraterrestrial environment and its viability as a pathfinder to make scientific observations.

Patran is essential in helping ensure that Violet would be durable enough to withstand the harsh outer space conditions. A model of the structure of the Violet Satellite was imported into Patran to simulate the thermal distribution during the worst case scenario at both extremities, hot and cold. After successful analyses using Patran and Sinda, the advanced thermal analysis solver from MSC; the team has concluded that the Violet spacecraft will survive.

"Patran meets the professional simulation modeling standards demanded by the aerospace industry, allowing us to confidently predict the survival of the spacecraft. Without MSC Software, the Violet Satellite would not be prepared for launch," said Joshua Abeshaus of the Violet satellite project team.

"We are thrilled to be part of these extraordinary new satellite projects underway at Cornell University," said David Yuen, Senior Vice President, Americas at MSC Software. "Our commitment to helping the team succeed and grow with simulation methods in new areas of research and development is something we will continue to support and expand."

Cornell University's College of Engineering was founded in 1868 and is recognized as 10th amongst the Best Engineering Schools in the nation according to the latest release of the annual rankings list by U.S. News and World Report. It is home to 3,051 undergraduate students and 1,426 graduate students and has 12 different departments. Cornell is a world-class research university with 230 well-renowned faculty members.

The Violet Satellite Project Team at Cornell University is the school's newest satellite project with a goal to win the University Nanosat-6 Flight Competition, which is aimed to train tomorrow's space professionals by encouraging small satellite research and development, integration, and flight test.

The Violet Satellite Project Team at http://cusat.cornell.edu/violet/index.php.