MSC Nastran and MSC Adams Enterprise
Simulation Software
MSC.Software Corp.
Santa Ana, CA

NASA’s MIDEX Mission THEMIS (Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms) aims to resolve one of the oldest mysteries in space physics: namely, to determine what physical process in near-Earth space initiates the violent eruptions of the aurora that occur during substorms in the Earth’s magnetosphere. THEMIS is a 2-year mission consisting of five identical probes that will study the violent colorful eruptions of Auroras.

ImageTHEMIS will provide answers to questions about the origin and phenomenology of solar and Earth magnetospheric interaction, the resultant electrical substorms, effects on space weather, disruptions in ground power grids, and communications. These affect the operation of other space satellites and the lives of humans on the sub-auroral regions of Earth.

MSC Nastran and MSC Adams simulation software were used to eliminate the need for system-level deployment testing in the design and development of the NASA satellite constellation THEMIS Probe Bus and Probe Carrier. The tools were used in the development and validation of THEMIS. This launch marked the first simultaneous deployment of five NASA satellites from a single launch vehicle.

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NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the August, 2007 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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