Design Loads and Random Vibration Specifications for Spacecraft instruments
After a first estimation based on statistics, the design loads for instruments are generally estimated by coupled spacecraft/instrument sine analysis once an FE-model of the spacecraft is available. When the design loads for the instrument have been derived, the next step in the process is to estimate the random vibration environment at the instrument base and to compute the RMS load at the centre of gravity of the instrument by means of vibro-acoustic analysis. Finally the design loads of the light-weight sub-units of the instrument can be estimated through random vibration analysis at instrument level, taking into account the notches required to protect the instrument interfaces in the hard-mounted random vibration test. This paper presents the aforementioned steps of instrument and sub-units loads derivation in the preliminary design phase of the spacecraft and identifies the problems that may be encountered in terms of design load consistency between low-frequency and high-frequency environments. The SpicA FAR-infrared Instrument (SAFARI) which is currently developed for the Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA) will be used as a guiding example.