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Major Considerations for Vibration Testing of Spacecraft & Space Electronics

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Vibration Testing in the Aerospace Industry

Many tests are developed to meet the rigorous demands of spacecraft and aircraft manufacturers, along with standard tests for military and commercial aircraft. For instance, DO-160, “Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment”, published by RTCA, is required as a minimum for many commercial aircraft components by the Federal Aviation Regulations. The European equivalent is EUROCAE/ED-14D. For military aerospace applications, MIL-STD 810 and NATO AECTP-400 are commonly used. See Commercial Aviation Testing and Military Standard Testing for more information.

Vibration qualification tests, stress screening tests, and R&D tests are not only beneficial for the reliability of products, but often a regulatory requirement for aerospace components. Data Physics offers vibration test equipment for basic production test all the way to systems designed specifically for large scale aerospace applications. SignalForce Electrodynamic Shakers and SignalStar Vibration Controllers are commonly used for these tests. Also see Satellite Qualification Testing for specific features that are required for satellite vibration testing.

Multishaker tests are often run on extremely large payloads or for multiple degree of freedom simulation. Whether the application is large channel count vibration control or multi-shaker control, SignalStar Matrix Vibration Controllers are specifically designed for these demanding applications.

Traditional vibration tables are not able to generate the energy needed to accurately reproduce many blast off and high air velocity conditions. For these tests, high amplitude acoustic power is generally needed using either a reverberant chamber or tube arrangement. High precision acoustic power generators (sometimes referred to as an electro-pneumatic transducer or EPT) are used to cover a wide range of frequencies at staggering levels. Data Physics offers Acoustic Power Generators to cover both low and high frequency use.

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