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Proceedings Paper

Ground testing of a microgravity isolation system
Author(s): Donald L. Edberg; Andreas H. von Flotow; Philip Cha; Bruce D. Fisher; Lisa Gann; Andy Roe; Jon Soberg
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes the results of current research being carried out at McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (MDA) to develop a flight-ready vibration isolation system for possible use on shuttle or space station. Measurements and predictions indicate that the natural vibration modes of these vehicles may be excited by on-board equipment and astronaut activities. These disturbances may be enough to upset the desired levels of microgravity. The MDA system consists of a very low frequency, flexible interface between a scientific payload and the orbiting host platform augmented by active acceleration feedback. The design of a system that will accommodate materials and biological experiments must take into account predicted input vibration levels, experiment services requirements, and logistic considerations. It must accommodate all these requirements while consuming the absolute minimum of the space available to the payload itself. The MDA isolator concept has been demonstrated in 3-axis testing in the laboratory and nearly meets the desired space station specifications. However, the design needs on-orbit testing to verify its performance in true space environment. This paper discusses some of the practical aspects of the design and operation of the system. NASA has notified MDA that a Phase A award for the development of a flight demonstration of our experiment will be made under its IN-Space Technology Experiment Program (IN-STEP).

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 May 1994
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 2190, Smart Structures and Materials 1994: Smart Structures and Intelligent Systems, (6 May 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.175231
Show Author Affiliations
Donald L. Edberg, McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (United States)
Andreas H. von Flotow, Hood Technologies (United States)
Philip Cha, Harvey Mudd College (United States)
Bruce D. Fisher, Harvey Mudd College (United States)
Lisa Gann, Harvey Mudd College (United States)
Andy Roe, Harvey Mudd College (United States)
Jon Soberg, Harvey Mudd College (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2190:
Smart Structures and Materials 1994: Smart Structures and Intelligent Systems
Nesbitt W. Hagood, Editor(s)

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