Course Details

Three Days

Course Summary

An integral part of the flight verification process for a spacecraft is achieved through validation of the finite element model of the spacecraft structure. Modal survey testing is the method used to meet this requirement. This course provides an in-depth look at modal survey testing of spacecraft systems and subsystems. Emphasis is on the practical aspects of test planning, execution, data analysis and post-test data processing.

Course Materials

Include extensive PDF’s or hard copies of slides, reference materials and individual Certificates of Completion.

Who Should Attend

Spacecraft and launch vehicle engineers, system engineers, program managers and all professionals interested in obtaining a working knowledge of the implications of lift-off and launch environments and designing and testing of spacecraft structures to withstand these environments.

What You Will Learn

The techniques discussed will provide the attendee with the necessary tools to produce a set of verified natural frequencies and mode shape vectors that represent the mass and stiffness of the spacecraft in the test configuration.

Course Outline

  1. Introduction History of modal analysis, Normal mode theory, Description of the modal technique
  2. Modal Test Requirements Boundary Conditions Instrumentation Mechanical Support Equipment Modal Test Facilities Pre-test Analysis
  3. Data Acquisition Hardware Software Data recording
  4. Structural Excitation Techniques Discussion of the pros and cons as well as technical considerations for available excitation techniques
  5. Spectrum Analysis of Recorded Test Data FFT & Frequency Response Analysis
  6. Modal Analysis of Spectral Data SDOF, MDOF, SIMO, MIMO Techniques for generating Modal Parameters and Mode Shape Vectors
  7. Post Processing and Animation of Results Test - Test, Test - Analysis correlation, orthogonally
  8. Verification of Modal Test Results Synthesis of Frequency Response Functions Modal Assurance Criteria, Reciprocity
  9. Overview of Finite Element Model Correlation Synthesis of Frequency Response Functions Modal Assurance Criteria
  10. Avoiding Common Modal Test Problems Response Location Problems Test Setup Problems Pitfalls in Data Acquisition, Processing Practical Considerations and Tips
  11. Modal Test Demonstration Data acquisition & processing on a test structure


James M. Haughton

Jim Haughton is a structural test engineer with over 30 years of experience in structural testing of aerospace hardware. He specializes in mechanical launch environment analysis, acoustic, vibration and modal survey testing on spacecraft.

Jim’s aerospace work has been primarily through the Naval Research Laboratory’s Naval Center for Space Technology and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. He has a BSME degree from Manhattan College, Bronx, N.Y. and he has been the President of, and Structural Test Engineer for, Kinetic Research Corp since 1985.  He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Maryland.