Ensuring Satellite Reliability with Vibration Testing

Press Release:
  May 1, 2013 — RAL Space provides world-leading space research and technology development for customers around the world.

They offer space test and ground-based facilities where they design and build instruments, and analyse and process data. They also operate ground-station facilities, and lead conceptual studies for future missions.

Working with space and ground-based groups around the world, they are now the largest space science department in Europe, and have been involved in over 150 missions in recent years, including the groundbreaking SOHO and STEREO solar missions, the Earth Remote-Sensing missions ERS-1, ERS-2 and ENVISAT, and solar system missions such as the Rosetta commentary lander, the Cassini/Huygens mission to Saturn and its moon Titan, and continuing work on MIRI (Mid-Infrared Instrument) for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is due to be launched in 2018 as the scientific successor to the venerable Hubble Space Telescope. The JWST’s ten-year mission is to find and study the first luminous objects, the assembly of galaxies, the birth of stars, the birth of planetary systems, and the origins of life.

JWST might appear serene, but that fragile mass of technology must endure being stowed as the 6-tonne payload of a launch vehicle. The satellite and its components (such as MIRI) must endure the noise and subsequent vibration of the ~145 dB interaction between the rocket engines and launch-pad environment, the jarring transonic climb phase, pyroshock as stages separate, turbulent boundary layer excitation and more.

In 2010, RAL Space decided to replace their existing LDS V954 Vibration System with a more powerful and flexible one to meet its increased testing needs. Their older V954 had served them well, but with increasing payload masses and more severe tests required, RAL Space needed to improve their capabilities.

The new solution provides the increased capacity necessary for test programmes going forward, and is based on the LDS V8 electro-dynamic shaker, with the ability to operate in horizontal or vertical orientation. An integral slip table measuring 1200 mm x 1200 mm is coupled to the shaker as necessary, allowing large objects to be mounted securely. The slip table has nine high-pressure hydrostatic bearings arranged on a 3 x 3 matrix. This configuration provides for maximum overturning restraint for devices under test with a high centre of gravity. They also have an additional, interchangeable 750 mm x 750 mm slip plate for high acceleration testing.

The amplifier – a 56 kVA class ‘D’ switching amplifier – is forced-air cooled and incorporates an integral DC field power supply which is required for the shaker field coils. The shaker is also forced-air cooled and relies on a fixed blower device to pass air through the shaker for efficient cooling during operation.

Read more in the case study here: http://bksv.com/doc/bn1128.pdf


About Brüel & Kjær
Brüel & Kjær is a world-leading manufacturer and supplier of sound and vibration measurement systems. Brüel & Kjær helps its customers measure and manage the quality of sound and vibration in their products and in the environment. Focus areas are aerospace, space, defence, automotive, ground transportation, airport environment, urban environment, telecom, and audio.

Brüel & Kjær has an unparalleled portfolio of sound and vibration equipment, and is a renowned deliverer of innovative instrumentation, including sound level meters, microphones, accelerometers, conditioning amplifiers, calibrators, noise and vibration analysers and software. To see the full range of products and systems, please visit www.bksv.com

Brüel & Kjær also runs a variety of training courses, from basic introductions to noise and its effects to more specialised classes teaching customers how to get the most out of their equipment. Free, online training courses - conducted by our expert engineers - run throughout the year too. For all course registration details visit http://www.bksv.com/courses

Brüel & Kjær is a subsidiary of UK-based Spectris plc (www.spectris.com) which has annual sales of £1.1bn and employs around 7,500 people worldwide across its four business segments

For additional information please contact:
Heather Wilkins
Marketing Coordinator
Bruel & Kjaer
Telephone: 01223 389 800
Web: www.bksv.com
Email: heather.wilkins@bksv.com
For more information: http://www.bksv.co.uk/NewsEvents/News/UnitedKingdom/RAL_Space.aspx
Tags: Bruel, Kjaer, sound, vibration, environment, noise measure, building, acoustic
Company Details:
 Contact:Brüel & Kjær 
 E-mail:heather -dot- wilkins -at- bksv -dot- com 
 Company:Bruel & Kjaer View Company Profile 
 Address:workJarman Way 
 Location:workRoyston, United Kingdom  SG8 5BQ 
 Phone:workpref01223 389800 
 Fax:fax01223 389918 
 Web Site:http://www.bksv.com