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Benefits of Spacecraft Level Vibration TestingNASA-HDBK-7008 Spacecraft Level Dynamic Environments Testing discusses the approaches, benefits, dangers, and recommended practices for spacecraft level dynamic environments testing, including vibration testing. This paper discusses in additional detail the benefits and actual experiences of vibration testing spacecraft for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) flight projects. JPL and GSFC have both similarities and differences in their spacecraft level vibration test approach: JPL uses a random vibration input and a frequency range usually starting at 5 Hz and extending to as high as 250 Hz. GSFC uses a sine sweep vibration input and a frequency range usually starting at 5 Hz and extending only to the limits of the coupled loads analysis (typically 50 to 60 Hz). However, both JPL and GSFC use force limiting to realistically notch spacecraft resonances and response (acceleration) limiting as necessary to protect spacecraft structure and hardware from exceeding design strength capabilities. Despite GSFC and JPL differences in spacecraft level vibration test approaches, both have uncovered a significant number of spacecraft design and workmanship anomalies in vibration tests. This paper will give an overview of JPL and GSFC spacecraft vibration testing approaches and provide a detailed description of spacecraft anomalies revealed.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Gordon, Scott
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Kern, Dennis L.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
November 3, 2015
Publication Date
October 27, 2015
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Aerospace Testing Seminar(Los Angeles, CA)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
Spacecraft Vibration Test

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