Instar Engineering & Consulting
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Mechanical systems engineering: requirements definition and interpretation, concept development, verification planning, mass properties management, risk management, system integration. Structural and mechanical test engineering: static loads, fatigue, vibration, modal survey. Bolted joints: design, analysis, and test; NASA-STD-5020A compliance; development of fastening system control plans.

We also develop and teach engineering short courses for the NASA centers, other government organizations, and many aerospace companies (over 250 courses since 1995, with duration varying from two to five full days). We continue to look for top engineering talent; submit your resume if you think you're ideally suited to working for Instar.

read more › Established in 1993 and based in Littleton, Colorado, Instar Engineering and Consulting, Inc., provides a broad range of structural, mechanical, and systems engineering and consulting services to the aerospace industry. Our engineers average over 35 years experience in the space industry, with broad structural and mechanical backgrounds, a systems perspective, and project-management experience. As the need arises, we enlist the services of several local experts who have retired from full-time employment in the space industry.

read more › We presently do not have any openings. We do, however, continue to look for top engineering talent in case a need arises, so feel free to submit your resume if you think you're ideally suited to working for Instar. Please make sure you research our company thoroughly, though, before contacting us. We continue to look for top engineering talent; submit your resume if you think you're ideally suited to working for Instar.

read more › Instar's courses stem from a common philosophy: The way to reduce the cost of space programs is to improve engineering, management, processes, communication, and morale, and to do things right the first time. We strive to help our students understand the big picture and the details that typically cause problems. We then show how to use this understanding to generate clear and effective requirements, develop simple designs, plan and perform efficient analyses and tests, and avoid problems. Instar's instructors are experienced engineers in the space industry who have developed effective teaching skills.

read more › Reduce total cost through good engineering and good management, not by compromising quality. Be willing to accept risks, but only those you and the other stakeholders truly understand. Make sure you - and everyone else - have enough time, resources, and freedom to do things right. Improve personal efficiency or work output through good engineering and good task management, not by compromising quality. This course for leaders, managers, supervisors, systems engineers, and consultants addresses the most challenging problem in the space industry: How do we reduce cost and schedule time while also trying to ensure a successful mission?

read more › A broad but close view of the structure as a system, covering functions, requirements, environments, verification planning, design, analysis, test, and risk assessment. An effective follow-on to Instar's SMS course, delving into considerably more detail in design and analysis. Not specific to the space industry. A course for design engineers and analysts, with the goal of building understanding of how bolted joints behave, how to design them to be trouble free, and how to assess their capability.

read more › This series of papers provides guidelines and recommendations for vibration testing of small satellites to (a) ensure the test meets its objectives of demonstrating flight worthiness and (b) avoid test failures, whether associated with a design or manufacturing deficiency or with excessive loading during test. Addressed are sine-burst testing, random vibration testing, and low-level diagnostic sine sweeps. Although much of the guidance provided in this series applies to CubeSats, the series is primarily aimed at satellites in the 50 - 500 lb (23 - 230 kg) range.

read more › Tom Sarafin, president of Instar, has been writing a series of articles that introduce and explore the Ten Principles for Doing Things Right in Space Programs, occasionally with guest authors. These articles are posted on this site as they are released and are available for free downloading. Once these articles are completed, we plan to assemble them into a book. Please send us any comments you might have on these articles. We continue to look for top engineering talent; submit your resume if you think you're ideally suited to working for Instar.

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