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ATI's Spacecraft Structural Design course

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    Technical Training Short On Site Course Quote

      The mission of space programs is dependent on the proper operation of the instruments and payload support functions. This success cannot be achieved without an adequately robust structural design and a properly developed structural configuration. This one day course will provide a basic understanding of the concepts involved in the structural design, analysis and testing of space structures. It is intended for system engineers and managers who wish to enhance their overall understanding of this subject matter. Specific project examples are discussed throughout the course of the lecture to enhance the theoretical material. A brief discussion of the current technologies and trends are also provided.


      William Skullney has specialized in the structural design and analysis and environmental testing of satellite structures and components. His experience has involved the use of conventional and finite element analysis methods, and testing in the area of strength, deployment, vibration, acoustics, shock and mass properties. He was the lead structural engineer on the SDIO Delta 180, 181, and 183 Sensor Module Programs, the BMDO Midcourse Space Experiment Program , and made significant contributions to the Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope and HILAT Satellite Programs. He has been a lecturer at the Johns Hopkins University. He is a member of the Principal Professional Staff of The Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory and is the supervisor of the Mechanical Systems Group. He received his BS and MS degrees in from The Pennsylvania State University and is co-author of Fundamentals of Space Systems.

      Contact this instructor (please mention course name in the subject line)

    What You Will Learn:

    • How to define structural requirements<
    • Structural configuration concepts and trade-offs
    • Types of environmental loading during launch
    • Basic structural analysis techniques
    • Factors to consider in material selection
    • Basic concepts of structural dynamics
    • Basic principles of isolation
    • General concepts of finite element analysis
    • Structural testing philosophy
    • Types of structural tests
    • Current structure technologies

    Course Outline:

    1. Introduction to the spacecraft design and analysis process. The design process, design criteria and requirements.

    2. Structural Configuration. Packaging, launch vehicle interface, system interactions, mass properties.

    3. Launch Vehicle Environments. Launch events, sources of structural loading, design environments, limit loads, frequency, launch vehicle summary, design example problem.

    4. Stress/Strain Analysis. Axial, bending, buckling and torsional loading, thermal effects, structural attachments, design example problem.

    5. Materials. Conventional materials, sandwich construction, composite materials, materials comparison and selection.

    6. Structural Dynamics. Natural frequency, modes of vibration, amplification, isolation, damping, design example problem.

    7. Finite Element Modeling. General approach, coupling analysis.

    8. Structural Testing. Testing rationale and effectiveness, types of tests, test description, discussion of test configurations.

    9. Technologies and Trends. Multifunctional structures, materials, composite structures.


      Tuition for this one-day course is $500. Onsite pricing is available. Please call us at 410-956-8805 or send an email to