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Ansys simulation solutions optimized mission planning and lunar lander design, increasing the likelihood of success.


Leveraging  Ansys DME and multiphysics simulation solutions, Astrobotic's Peregrine lunar lander is poised to make one of the first CLPS deliveries to the Moon. Scheduled to launch early January and land late February, Peregrine will ferry 20 payloads from seven countries and will help NASA explore the lunar surface to prepare for human missions as part of the Artemis program.

To reach the Moon, spacecraft traverse a hostile cislunar environment featuring extreme temperatures, unanticipated space weather phenomena, high levels of radiation, and a multitude of unknowns. The craft must be durable enough to withstand intense load-case scenarios during flight and landing, while remaining light enough to carry enough fuel for the journey. Because it is impossible to replicate these conditions with a physical prototype on Earth, Space 2.0 companies rely on Ansys’ virtual design and mission planning to validate their technology and to maximize the chances of mission success.

With support from Ansys Elite Channel Partner, SimuTech Group, Astrobotic used a suite of Ansys solutions to enhance spacecraft design and predict performance across all phases of the complex mission:
  • Astrobotic harnessed Ansys’ topology optimization capabilities to help design a lander with mass savings of up to 20% while meeting structural durability criteria.
  • Engineers used Ansys Mechanical to help evaluate performance under extreme structural loads during the launch and transit, and the impact of shock, vibration, and fluid transients during powered descent.
  • Astrobotic engineers used Ansys Discovery to mature the design for stress, reduce mass, and optimize Peregrine for assembly.
  • Using Ansys Thermal Desktop, Astrobotic analyzed the complex cislunar orbit and trajectory options across diverse thermal environments and spacecraft altitudes. This enabled the mission planning team to determine the most suitable launch and landing opportunities.
  • As Peregrine travels farther from Earth, the integrity of the antenna and radio signal are critical for communications and orbit trajectory tracking. Astrobotic implemented Ansys HFSS to design the antenna radiation patterns to ensure maximum signal strength.

See how Ansys' intuitive software helped design the Peregrine Lunar Lander and prepare it for space travel

Space Exploration Engineering (SEE), an aerospace firm specializing in planning space missions, mission analysis, and flight dynamics, leveraged Ansys’ DME capabilities to support the mission. Using Ansys Systems Tool Kit (STK), SEE experts worked as part of the Astrobotic Flight Dynamics team to plan Peregrine’s mission, trajectory, and manoeuvres. The Astrobotic team used Ansys Orbit Determination Tool Kit (ODTK) to track the lander’s orbital trajectory and used STK to plan maneuvers and course corrections to achieve an accurate approach to the final landing site. SEE engineers augmented the existing mission capabilities by running the flight dynamics system, AstroFDS, which provides crucial automation of interfaces, workflows, and configuration control of Ansys ODTK and Ansys STK.

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