L.Garde has made significant investments in state-of-the-art tools to assist in the design and manufacturing lightweight space structures.
L.Garde’s suite of specialized hardware includes an automated laser cutting machine. It is a one-of-a-kind device custom built for L.Garde. It can cut flat objects 60 feet long by 5 feet wide. Its 150 watt infrared laser can cut anything from plastic films to thin metals with precision. The materials are held in place by a vacuum chuck powered by three massive blowers..

L.Garde maintains its own vibration table for qualification and acceptance testing. At the time it was built, this was the largest air-cooled shaker table available. The shaker table can be configured to operate in three axes. It is shown with a fixture mounted horizontally. The switching power amplifier can be seen in the background. When the shaker is at full power, it draws 90,000 watts.

L.Garde has a staff dedicated to material identification, laminate fabrication, and testing. We have a dedicated lab for assembly and testing of materials. Pictured below is a tensometer which is used to determine the characteristics of the various lots of film we use.

L.Garde has a suite of testing equipment including thermal cycling chambers, ovens, vacuum pumps and chambers, and data acquisition systems. This equipment allows L.Garde to perform an entire contract from concept to delivery in house.

L.Garde has a non-contact system for measuring the exact X, Y, Z coordinates of objects of any size to a precision of 0.001 inch (for a 10 foot diameter object). This system is completely photographic and never touches the object being measured. About a dozen pictures from various vantage points are taken of the object to be measured. Up to 1000 points on the object are correlated to each other in the multiple pictures. A computer program is then used to find the shape of the object that would uniquely result from the position of all the points seen from the various positions. Photographic data is gathered with a rare monochrome digital camera with a resolution of 3060 x 2036 pixels. A monochome camera is used to avoid the position error introduced by the Bayer filter interpolation in most color digital cameras.

L.Garde has a long heritage of analytical capabilities especially in the area of light-weight structures that include large, deployable, and ultra-thin membrane structures. L.Garde uses a range of computational tools to complement our highly talented human capital with years of accumulated specialized knowledge and skills.

These tools include: NEiNastran Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Simulation Software: Nastran has a long history in aerospace as a finite element structural solver. NEiNastran has been used for over 20 years by companies in all industries. L.Garde has used NEiNastran for nearly a decade as structural analysis workhorse to perform analyses on many program and projects. Dassault Systemes Simulia Abaqus: Abaqus is an industry leader in finite element analysis and simulation especially in the area of non-linear FEA.

L.Garde has used Abaqus for several years to perform difficult, non-linear analyses on many different programs and projects. C&R Technologies Thermal Desktop: Thermal Desktop use CAD models as well as incorporating both familiar parameter based (TRASYS like) finite difference surfaces with finite elements with CAD technology to model thermal problems. The easy-to-use graphical interface supplies input into the SINDA/FLUINT solvers. L.Garde has been using Thermal Desktop on its more recent programs and projects. Analytical Graphics Inc. System Tool Kit (STK): Formerly known as Satellite Tool Kit (STK), STK is the industry standard for mission analysis which provides the capability to perform advanced mission simulation and analyses unmatched in industry for ease of use, breadth of scope, and graphical user interface.

In addition to the standard STK package, L.Garde also uses the more advanced Astrogator module for interplanetary mission analysis. Teledyne Brown Engineering Inc. Optical Signatures Code (OSC): OSC provides a highly-specialized analytical capability for analyzing object signatures. L.Garde Inc. FAIM and FLATE: L.Garde has developed specialized analytical tools for ultra-thin membrane structures over the many years. Finite element Analyzer for Inflatable Membranes (FAIM) and FLATE are complementary computational codes for calculating the inverse transformation from a final loaded structural shape of a parabolic or spherical reflector to the initial, two-dimensional flat gore pattern. The codes are based on exact analytical solutions to the inverse problem. Using the flat gore pattern calculated from FAIM and FLATE, material is cut and used to fabricate hardware. FAIM and FLATE have been used for fabricating a large majority of L.Garde's flight hardware.

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L.Garde, Inc.
15181 Woodlawn Ave.
Tustin, CA 92780-6487
Office: 714.259.0771
Fax: 714.259.7822