composite experimental orbital sloshing analysis testbed

CEOSAT ist der Arbeitstitel für einen Pico-Satelliten, der an der HS Augsburg entwickelt werden soll.

Der Pico-Satellit CEOSAT verbindet viele bedeutende Disziplinen des Maschinenbaus und anderer Fakultäten. Er bietet die Möglichkeit, in der Strukturauslegung angewandten Leichtbau und Faserverbundtechnologie einzusetzen. Seine Flugführung, Navigation und Kommunikation mit der Bodenstation beutet einen wertvollen Erfahrungsschatz und den idealen Einstieg in diese Kernbereiche der Satellitentechnik für künftige Satellitenprojekte der HS Augsburg.

Der Pico-Satellit dient dabei sowohl Lehr- und Anschauungszwecken, als auch als wissenschaftliche Plattform für Materialforschung und Flugkörperdynamik


The precise prediction of the behavior of huge quantities of liquid in microgravity is of paramount importance for future manned and unmanned space vehicles.
In particular the behavior of liquids like fuel and water onboard a spacecraft have a strong influence on space vehicle dynamics, guidance and control.

The knowledge of liquid dynamics plays an important role also in the domains chemistry, biology and material sciences. E. g., melting and osmoses processes in microgravity are different from those observed on Earth.

In spite of the technical progress in the simulation domain, our knowledge about the behavior of liquids in microgravity is still limited.
The reason for this lack of information is on the one hand the limited experimental time onboard a space station like the ISS or manned spacecrafts like the Space Shuttle, respectively.

On the other hand, the complexity of the liquid-solid-interaction requires a realistic modeling in the simulation, which is often limited to dedicated test cases and often undergoes drastic simplifications (ideal fluids, incompressible, inviscid, e. g.)

Justification for the necessity of „CEOSAT“

The above mentioned complexity of liquid dynamics simulation requires a new way forward in order to use the existing hard and software resources efficiently.

Based on a huge number of pre-considerations and theoretical considerations, an innovative particle-based simulation tool for liquids has been developed, which is based on Newton’s mechanics.
This simulation tool, which consists of various modules, is able to predict liquid dynamics easier and faster compared to continuum mechanic models without loss of accuracy.

A huge number of test cases has been analyzed with the particle-cluster method in order to demonstrate the qualitative and quantitative congruency with experimental data available from high-level research institutions like NASA Langley Research Center, e. g. The reliability of this method validated against experimental and numerical results justifies the development of a mobile test bed, which is designed for various external excitation modes of a liquid.

Additionally, the design process gives a detailed insight into the following technical domains

  1. LightweightConstruction
  2. CompositeMaterials
  3. Guidance / Navigation
  4. Communication
  5. Sensortechnology

The envisaged usage of composite materials shall give new impulses for the research activities in the domains lightweight construction at Augsburg University of Applied Sciences.

Satellite Design

The structure of CEOSAT shall be made of an innovative space frame. This space frame offers the scientist a huge volume fort he experimental test bed in combination with an outstanding structural strength and robustness.
In addition to that, the space frame offers the possibility to explore and analyze the usage of new and innovative material combinations and manufacturing techniques, which can be used in future satellite or aircraft structures..

The satellite shall provide a communication and navigation platform, which requires an innovative miniaturization concept due to the limited volume available.

The experimental test bed shall consist of a sphere tank, which takes most of the free volume available within CEOSAT. This tank shall be filled with probes of liquids providing different physical properties like density, viscosity and surface tension.

Extern to the tank, two cameras (redundancy) record the liquid motion inside the tank.
The wall impact forces and the reaction forces of the satellite structure are recorded by miniature pressure sensors and by the inertial platform accelerometers. The data are transmitted to the ground station in each revolution of the satellite.