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Integrated Vehicle Ground Vibration Testing in Support of Launch Vehicle Loads and Controls AnalysisAll structural systems possess a basic set of physical characteristics unique to that system. These unique physical characteristics include items such as mass distribution and damping. When specified, they allow engineers to understand and predict how a structural system behaves under given loading conditions and different methods of control. These physical properties of launch vehicles may be predicted by analysis or measured by certain types of tests. Generally, these properties are predicted by analysis during the design phase of a launch vehicle and then verified by testing before the vehicle becomes operational. A ground vibration test (GVT) is intended to measure by test the fundamental dynamic characteristics of launch vehicles during various phases of flight. 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 control systems analysis models for verifying analyses of the launch vehicle. NASA manned launch vehicles have undergone ground vibration testing leading to the development of successful launch vehicles. A GVT was not performed on the inaugural launch of the unmanned Delta III which was lost during launch. Subsequent analyses indicated had a GVT been performed, it would have identified instability issues avoiding loss of the vehicle. This discussion will address GVT planning, set-up, execution and analyses, for the Saturn and Shuttle programs, and will also focus on the current and on-going planning for the Ares I and V Integrated Vehicle Ground Vibration Test (IVGVT).
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Askins, Bruce R.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Davis, Susan R.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Salyer, Blaine H.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Tuma, Margaret L.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
May 12, 2008
Subject Category
Launch Vehicles And Launch Operations
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Joint Army-Navy-NASA-Air Force (JANNAF) Conference(Massachusetts)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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