In the course of the project, an FEM analysis of an ion mass spectrometer, the planetary ion camera (PICAM), which was used on the mercury planetary orbiter (MBO), was carried out.

In the project a mechanical calculation of the whole system was performed according to the given external loads (response spectrum in all 3 spatial directions).

The model is a combined FEM model of solid elements, shell elements and beam elements with corresponding MPC’s at the bolted joints. Since also with titanium, tantalum, aluminum, PEEK, … a variety of different materials are used the model is highly interesting, also concerning the mechanical properties.


– By means of thermomechanical finite element analyses, the occurring thermal stress could be determined.

– Finite element analyses (random response) were used to ensure reliability (fatigue strength) during rocket launch.

The project was carried out by an international working group, in which the Institute of Space Research (IWF) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences was the principal investigator.

PICAM V2.2 Shock Analysis 13 1
PICAM Random Analysis Y 2


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Dr. Wolfgang Krach

+43 1 974 89 91-11