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Proceedings Paper

Vibration isolation for launch of a space station orbital replacement unit
Author(s): Joseph R. Maly; Scott C. Pendleton; George H. James; Mark Mimovich
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Paper Abstract

Delivery of Orbital Replacement Units (ORUs) to the International Space Station (ISS) and other on-orbit destinations is an important component of the space program. ORUs are integrated on orbit with space assets to maintain and upgrade functionality. For ORUs comprised of sensitive equipment, the dynamic launch environment drives design and testing requirements, and high frequency random vibrations are generally the cause for failure. Vibration isolation can mitigate the structure-borne vibration environment during launch, and hardware has been developed that can provide a reduced environment for current and future launch environments. Random vibration testing of one ORU to equivalent Space Shuttle launch levels revealed that its qualification and acceptance requirements were exceeded. An isolation system was designed to mitigate the structure-borne launch vibration environment. To protect this ORU, the random vibration levels at 50 Hz must be attenuated by a factor of two and those at higher frequencies even more. Design load factors for Shuttle launch are high, so a metallic load path is needed to maintain strength margins. Isolation system design was performed using a finite element model of the ORU on its carrier with representative disturbance inputs. Iterations on the model led to an optimized design based on flight-proven SoftRide MultiFlex isolators. Component testing has been performed on prototype isolators to validate analytical predictions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 July 2004
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 5386, Smart Structures and Materials 2004: Damping and Isolation, (29 July 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.547409
Show Author Affiliations
Joseph R. Maly, CSA Engineering, Inc. (United States)
Scott C. Pendleton, CSA Engineering, Inc. (United States)
George H. James, NASA Johnson Space Ctr. (United States)
Mark Mimovich, CSA Engineering, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5386:
Smart Structures and Materials 2004: Damping and Isolation
Kon-Well Wang, Editor(s)

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