Structures engineering

Lightweight structures, special structures and complex details often require more than a standard analysis.
This is where our special structural analysis know-how comes in.

We use the Finite Element Method (FEM) to describe the behaviour of a structure from early conceptual phases up to the final sizing in addition to analytical methods and classical hand calculation. Many years of experience with the Finite Element Method (FEM) range from linear static analyses to complex dynamic analyses. Space Structures uses NASTRAN, ANSYS® and and ABAQUS® for state-of-the-art solver technology together with HyperWorks or Femap as pre- and post-processing tool. Automated post-processing routines allow efficiency and a smooth workflow. Other methods include vibro-acoustic analysis, fatigue & fracture mechanics. We know how to simulate all materials including composites.

Finite Element Analysis (FEA)

  • Modeling based on CAD design data
  • Problem-adapted discretisation
  • Statics (linear and nonlinear)
  • Dynamics (modal analysis and vibration, incl. random- & micro-vibration)
  • Strength verifications
  • Deformation analyses
  • Stability analyses (imperfection modeling where required)
  • Thermo-elastic analyses (including temperature mapping)
  • Shock Analyses (modal and transient)
  • Model correlation with test data
  • Model condensation (Guyan and Craig-Bampton)
  • Optimisation

General structure analysis

  • Analytical methods and classic hand-calculation
  • Programming of tools for FEA pre- and postprocessing
  • Vibro-acoustic analyses (BEM & FEM)
  • Shock analyses according to ECSS-E-HB-32-25A
  • Bolt verifications according to ECSS-E-HB-32-23A, VDI 2230, DIN 18800, EN 1993-1-8
  • Insert design according to ECSS-E-HB-32-22A
  • Fatigue verifications according to ESAFATIG, EN 1993-1-9
  • Fracture mechanics analyses with ESACRACK, NASGRO


  • Metals, including special alloys (INVAR, etc.)
  • Composites (CFRP, GFRP, PCB, metal-ceramics, etc.)
  • Special Materials (glas, tethers, concrete, ...)

Stability analyses

  • Design of large plated structures
  • Effective width method according to EN 1993-1-5, Chapter 4 to 7
  • Reduced stress method according to EN 1993-1-5, Chapter 10
  • FEM-based design according to EN 1993-1-5, Annex C

Hydraulic steel structures

  • Structure analysis and recalculation
  • Estimation of remaining service life
  • FEM analyses in case of failure

Space Structures has successfully simulated structures covering individual parts, subassemblies, electronic and electro-optical equipment, propulsion system, payloads and all the way up to complete large satellites for missions to Mars and Comets!