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The effects of random vibration on the dimensional stability of precision structures

Edeson, RL, Aglietti, GS and Tatnall, AR (2012) The effects of random vibration on the dimensional stability of precision structures

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Precision structures for space-based optical systems are typically subjected to brief periods of random vibration during the launch and ground testing phases. Such events pose a potential threat to the dimensional stability of such structures, which may be required to maintain positional tolerances on large optics in the low 10s of microns to meet optical performance requirements. Whilst there is an abundance of information in the literature on structural instability caused by hygrothermal cycling, there appears to have been little work done on the effects of random vibration. This issue has recently been addressed at RAL with a series of tests aimed at characterizing the behavior of dimensional instability in structures for high-resolution Earth-imaging cameras subject to random vibration. Firstly, a breadboard model of a typical "conventional" CFRP-based optical payload structure was produced and subjected to a range of environmental tests. The effects of random vibration were compared to those of other environmental stressors (such as thermal vacuum testing) and found to be significant. Next, controlled tests were performed on specific structural areas in order to assess the specific contributions of each area to overall instability. These tests made use of novel test setups and metrology techniques to assess the dimensional stability response of material samples and bolted joints to random vibration exposure. The tests were able to measure dimensional instability, characterize it over a series of tests of increasing vibration levels, and assess variability in results between identical samples. Finally, a predictive technique using a Finite Element Model with nonlinear kinematic hardening was produced. A time domain solution was obtained, using an analogy to Miner's Rule to determine load cycle amplitudes. This model correlated reasonably well with test results. This paper presents this program of work, and the results. It also proposes ways to minimize and mitigate dimensional instability due to random vibration by design, analysis and procedural means.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors : Edeson, RL, Aglietti, GS and Tatnall, AR
Date : 19 December 2012
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 14 Oct 2016 10:46
Last Modified : 23 Jan 2020 13:18

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