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Proceedings Paper

Statically determined structures: tension between classical and modern design--an engineering approach
Author(s): J. Pieter Kappelhof; Jan R. Nijenhuis
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Paper Abstract

The two most important characteristics of mechanical structures used in space or astronomy are accuracy and stability. Much time, money and energy is invested in achieving this. However because the resources are limited it is important to realize that the cost of an instrument is mainly fixed during the design process. Three factors can influence the design to a great extend which are: creativity, design rules and analysis. The most important tool for analysis nowadays is the computer. This one has become so powerful that even large structures are no problem to model in detail in FEM. It is even tempting to spend much time and effort in optimizing structures with the computer. However the basis for the best result is creativity during the design phase and the application of design rules. Although design rules are used extensively it is surprising to see that one of the most important ones is so little used. This lecture is therefore especially about the rule to make structures static determined. The importance can be invaluable because in applying this rule there is no need for computers. Furthermore the application often results in non-conventional structures and it helps to clearly define the basics of the structure. It also provides simple qualitative results that help to make decisions concerning alternatives. Results of computer models can be verified on their validity. Some interesting results of the application of this design rule will be shown. Examples are the linear guiding system for the VLTI delay line and the mount of mirrors. Also existing structures like e.g. the secondary mirror mount of the VLT will be analysed and it will be shown how they could have looked like when they would have been static determined.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 October 2003
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5176, Optomechanics 2003, (27 October 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.510280
Show Author Affiliations
J. Pieter Kappelhof, TNO (Netherlands)
Jan R. Nijenhuis, TNO (Netherlands)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5176:
Optomechanics 2003
Alson E. Hatheway, Editor(s)

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