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Integrated Vehicle Ground Vibration Testing in Support of NASA Launch Vehicle Loads and Controls AnalysisThe National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Ares Projects Office (APO) is continuing to make progress toward the final design of the Ares I crew launch vehicle and Ares V cargo launch vehicle. Ares I and V will form the space launch capabilities necessary to fulfill NASA's exploration strategy of sending human beings to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. As with all new space vehicles there will be a number of tests to ensure the design can be Human Rated. One of these is the Integrated Vehicle Ground Vibration Test (IVGVT) that will be measuring responses of the Ares I as a system. All structural systems possess a basic set of physical characteristics unique to that system. These unique characteristics include items such as mass distribution, frequency and damping. When specified, they allow engineers to understand and predict how a structural system like the Ares I launch vehicle behaves under given loading conditions. These physical properties of launch vehicles may be predicted by analysis or measured through certain types of tests. Generally, these properties are predicted by analysis during the design phase of a launch vehicle and then verified through testing before the vehicle is Human Rated. The IVGVT is intended to measure by test the fundamental dynamic characteristics of Ares I during various phases of operational/flight. This testing includes excitations of the vehicle in lateral, longitudinal, and torsional directions at vehicle configurations representing different trajectory points. During the series of tests, properties such as natural frequencies, mode shapes, and transfer functions are measured directly. These data will then be used to calibrate loads and Guidance, Navigation, and Controls (GN&C) analysis models for verifying analyses of Ares I. NASA launch vehicles from Saturn to Shuttle have undergone Ground Vibration Tests (GVTs) leading to successful launch vehicles. A GVT was not performed on the unmanned Delta III. This vehicle was lost during launch. Subsequent analyses indicated that had a GVT been conducted on the vehicle, problems with vehicle modes and control may have been discovered and corrected, avoiding loss of the vehicle/mission. This paper will address GVT planning, set-up, conduction and analyses, for the Saturn and Shuttle programs, and also focus on the current and on-going planning for the Ares I and V IVGVT.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Tuma, Margaret L.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Davis, Susan R.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Askins, Bruce R.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Salyer, Blaine H.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
May 12, 2008
Subject Category
Launch Vehicles And Launch Operations
Meeting Information
JANNAF 2008(Newton, MA)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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