Accession Number:

ADA453767

Title:

Simulation of the Zero-Gravity Environment for Dynamic Testing of Structures

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

CSA ENGINEERING INC PALO ALTO CA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1996-10-01

Pagination or Media Count:

11.0

Abstract:

Simulation of unconstrained free-free boundary conditions is a longstanding problem in ground vibration testing of spacecraft. The test article weight must be supported without introducing constraining forces due to stiffness, inertia, or friction from the suspension system. High-fidelity simulation of the space environment requires that such constraint forces be kept small compared to forces inherent in the experiment. A multipoint, six degree of freedom suspension system for dynamic testing is described. Intended primarily for highly flexible space structures, it uses a combination of passive pneumatic and active electromagnetic subsystems. The suspension offers a wide payload range, near-zero stiffness, zero static deflection, small added mass, and zero friction. The electromagnetic system can also provide active cancellation of added mass, accurate ride-height control, and integrated disturbance input. Several versions of the system are described, aimed at test articles ranging from very flexible solar arrays to a 7000-lb simulated optical truss. The concept and hardware are described, test results are given, and applications experience from several industry, government, and university installations is discussed.

Subject Categories:

  • Astrophysics
  • Mechanics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE