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27 June 2002 Whole-spacecraft shock isolation system
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Spacecraft are subjected to shock loads in the several thousands of g's level during their trip to orbit. These high shock loads usually result from some separation event, such as staging, spacecraft separation, and fairing separation. Shock loads are very detrimental to spacecraft components, instruments and electronics. A new type of shock isolation system is discussed. This shock system, referred to as the SoftRide ShockRing, is a whole-spacecraft isolation system, i.e., it shock isolates the complete spacecraft from the launch vehicle. Seven whole-spacecraft vibration isolation systems (SoftRide) have flown to date and flight data confirms large reductions of the dynamic loads on the spacecraft. The standard SoftRide system is a lower frequency isolation system than the ShockRing, vibration isolating the spacecraft starting in the approximately 25 Hz range. The ShockRing is targeted at shock loads and is set to isolate above approximately 75 Hz. Component tests have been performed on the ShockRing using a specially built pneumatic gun that can generate 10,000 g's on the test article. Results from these tests demonstrate substantial reductions of the shock being transmitted to the payload. Results from a system test consisting of a spacecraft simulator, payload attachment fittings, avionics section, and shock plate are discussed. In the system tests, pyrotechnic devices were used to obtain the high levels of shock for the tests.
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Conor D. Johnson and Paul S. Wilke "Whole-spacecraft shock isolation system", Proc. SPIE 4697, Smart Structures and Materials 2002: Damping and Isolation, (27 June 2002);

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