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How to Analyze and Size Spacecraft Structures: Loads Development & Structural Dynamics

How to Analyze and Size Spacecraft Structures: Loads Development & Structural Dynamics

How to Analyze and Size Spacecraft Structures: Loads Development & Structural Dynamics

Hello, I'm a mechanical/aerospace design engineer trying to expand into structural analysis.

What I'm looking for:
  • A guide or summary as to 1) how spacecraft design loads are determined, and 2) how components are analyzed to these loads
  • Recommended course to learn the above

Ideally, I'd like to see some sort of table that summarizes all the different loading conditions.
I've started the table below as an example where the first row is information taken mostly from Space Mission Analysis and Design by Wiley Larson pg 461: "Random vibration from engines and other sources is a critical source of load. At lift-off, the major source of random vibration is acoustic noise (pressure waves reflecting off the launch pad and service tower), which radiates from the engines to engulf the vehicle. Acoustics develop from aerodynamic turbulence when the vehicle passes through the transonic portion of its flight. Structures with high surface area and low mass, including skin sections and solar array panels, respond strongly to acoustic noise."

Other than this row, however, is information that I've filled in based off my limited knowledge (please correct any mistakes) and have no idea where things like steady-state acceleration, pogo vibration, attitude maneuvers, or sinusoidal vibration would fit in or what they affect.

I understand it's probably not reasonable to boil down such a complex subject into a single table but I think would be a great summary in starting to understand the different load cases, where they come from, what they affect, and how they're analyzed.
From there I'd like to learn how these design loads (to be used in analyses) are actually approximated. For a satellite, I know this mostly comes from the launch vehicle provider's coupled-loads analysis (CLA), but what about for a human vehicle?
The bottom two highlighted rows are the load cases that I assume would drive the design of primary structure of a human-rated return spacecraft (Dragon, Starliner, Orion) of which I'm most interested.

Where I've looked:
Besides the above mentioned text from Larson, I'm also aware of and in the process of reading:
  • NASA-STD-5002 Load Analyses of Spacecraft and Payloads - this describes the overall process of load cycle analysis (LCA) but not very detailed or how to actually approximate loads.
  • Structural Design and Analysis for Aerospace Engineers Course Book by Thomas P. Sarafin - this has a lot of great info but focuses on launch vehicles and doesn't mention human spacecraft much.
  • Spacecraft Structures and Mechanisms: From Concept to Launch by Thomas P. Sarafin - I came across this referenced elsewhere and have not been able to find an online pdf version yet. Will consider buying hard copy.
  • Manned Spacecraft Design Principles by Pasquale Sforza (2016) - just started reading this and seems like a great reference in general but the section for structural dynamics is very short.
Any help is much appreciated! Thanks for reading.

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