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  • A continuum model for dynamic analysis of the space station

    Paper ID



    • Segun Thomas


    Lockheed Engineering and Sciences Company, Inc.






    Dynamic analysis of the International Space Station using MSC/NASTRAN had 1312 rod elements, 62 beam elements, 489 nodes and 1473 dynamic degrees of freedom. A realtime, man-in-the-loop simulation of such a model is impractical. This paper discusses the mathematical model for realtime dynamic simulation of the space station. Several key questions in structures and structural dynamics are addressed. First, to achieve a significant reduction in the number of dynamic degrees of freedom, a continuum equivalent representation of the space station truss structure which accounted for the unsymmetry of the basic configuration and resulted in the coupling of extensional and transverse deformation, is developed. Next, dynamic equations for the continuum equivalent of the space station truss structure are formulated using a matrix version of Kane's dynamical equations. Flexibility is accounted for by using a theory that accommodates extension, bending in two principal planes and shear displacement. Finally, constraint equations suitable for dynamic analysis of flexible bodies with closed loop configuration are developed and solution of the resulting system of equations is based on the zero eigenvalue theorem.