The mechanics
of a space telescope

What is most important in the mechanics of space projects? How can you verify the correctness of your work? Learn more with a case study of the mechanics of the ScanSAT project.

Space – the biggest challenge

When developing devices that are designed to work you have to take into account that space is very demanding environment and requires performing a lot of non-negligible and very precise steps.  The mechanical design of a telescope must meet a number of requirements. From the basics: allowing the satellite to survive the journey into space and later stages of the mission unscathed, to advanced, perfectly designed tools to ensure the safety of the mission and its trouble-free progress.

Scanway Space | The mechanics of a space telescope

The mechanical framework of the ScanSAT satellite

When designing the mechanical structure of the ScanSAT telescope, we placed a great value on identifying, ensuring safety and all structural requirements. We divided them into functional and endurance aspects. Functional aspects are those that ensure proper work of the imaging system. These include the mechanical structure – which must be designed in such a way that thermal deformation of the optical system does not affect the quality of images., the Second group, endurance aspects, when used properly, protect the satellite from the effects of loads, accelerations, and vibrations. We also had in mind other mechanical components not related to security or imaging support, which must also pass durability and compatibility tests with the launch platform.

Scanway Space | The mechanics of a space telescope

Athermal & modern

As a result, we developed an athermal optomechanical system that is constructed using, among other things, aluminum and carbon fiber composites. Resistance to temperature fluctuations is a very important feature here, as it allows to minimize the influence of temperature variations during the transition between the sunny and shaded part of the orbit. The application of this type of solution was only achievable thanks to modern techniques of design support and numerical analysis.