Market Overview

Space Structures Uses ESI Software to Secure the Integrity of Satellite Panels During Launch under ESA Contract


Accurate Vibro-Acoustic Simulation Leads to Higher ROI and Customer

, leading innovator in Virtual
software and services for manufacturing
industries, announces the successful completion by German customer Space
Structures of a project for the
Space Agency (ESA)
. As simulation models are key to ensuring
the integrity of vital launch equipment subject to high-intensity
acoustic field during launch, accurately modeling acoustic conditions is
an important challenge.
used ESI's vibro-acoustic simulation software VA
One to virtually test their designs in various acoustic noise
environments. They could qualify the structural stress and strength
responses of carbon-fiber composite panels, early in the design stage –
improving their return on investment for this project, and increasing
the satisfaction of their own customer, the European Space Agency.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

FEM and BEM vibro-acoustic simulation models of a satellite payload for space applications with ESI  ...

FEM and BEM vibro-acoustic simulation models of a satellite payload for space applications with ESI VA One. (Graphic: ESI/ Space Structures)

One of the main challenges in the aerospace industry is to accurately
predict acoustic and vibration responses under rocket launch conditions,
as the intense acoustic field experienced during the early launch phase,
including liftoff, can cause severe structural damage. Specifically, the
integrity of both the spacecraft and protective fairing, along with
sensitive ground-based equipment, can be impaired at launch. Most
approaches to evaluate launch acoustic conditions use older calculation
or empirical methods and rely heavily on trial-and-error testing
information from legacy designs. These provide little opportunity for
design optimization and such methodology can lead to inaccurate results,
conservative assumptions, excess weight, and are likely to neglect
frequency-dependent characteristics. In this context, independent
engineering firm Space Structures GmbH sought to employ an advanced
simulation methodology that would eliminate such limitations.

Specialized in the development of metal and composite structures for
space applications, Space Structures was commissioned by the European
Space Agency to develop a multi-functional panel for large satellites.
Building on their core competencies in the development of carbon-fiber
composite structures for large spacecraft and years of experience in
designing the right equipment for launch environments, Space Structures
envisioned a new, cutting-edge methodology that would reduce
uncertainties related to the ability of the structures to withstand the
launch acoustic environment, and would enable them to address the topic
early in their design process. As they laid out this ambitious project,
Space Structures decided to extend their simulation capabilities to
include the prediction of structural stress and strength responses
during acoustic excitation.

With help from ESI teams, Space Structures created a Boundary
Element Model (BEM)
with more than 250,000 nodes, a landmark
achievement unthinkable in the industry just 10 short years ago. Florian
, Managing Director of Space Structures GmbH, comments: "ESI
VA One is an outstanding software product. However, the real success is
provided in the proactive, flexible, timely and high-quality support of
the ESI team from our first contact with the sales team to our contact
with technical support."

Today, Space Structures has expanded their business thanks to the
simulation tool and now have a customer service department that
routinely conducts analytical verification and design optimization of
spacecraft structures, including vibro-acoustic simulation. With the
assistance of ESI's technical service, Space Structures learned to
benefit from the comprehensive functionality of VA One across the
full-frequency range. The company realized a high return on investment
and saw raised levels of customer satisfaction. In the future, Space
Structures intends to continue their use of VA One to improve structural
design for all acoustic noise environments.

For more information about ESI's solution for vibro-acoustics
simulation, please visit:

For more ESI news, visit:

About ESI Group

is a leading innovator in Virtual
software and services. Specialist in material physics, ESI
has developed a unique proficiency in helping industrial manufacturers
replace physical prototypes by virtual prototypes, allowing them to
virtually manufacture, assemble, test and pre-certify their future
products. Coupled with the latest technologies, Virtual Prototyping is
now anchored in the wider concept of the Product Performance
, which addresses the operational performance of a product
during its entire lifecycle, from launch to disposal. The creation of a Hybrid
, leveraging simulation, physics and data analytics, enables
manufacturers to deliver smarter and connected products, to predict
product performance and to anticipate maintenance needs.

ESI is a French company listed in compartment B of NYSE Euronext Paris.
Present in more than 40 countries, and addressing every major industrial
sector, ESI
employs about 1200 high-level specialists around the world and
reported annual sales of €135 million in 2017. For more information,
please visit

Follow ESI

View Comments and Join the Discussion!