29 July 2004 Vibration isolation for launch of a space station orbital replacement unit
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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.
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Joseph R. Maly, Joseph R. Maly, Scott C. Pendleton, Scott C. Pendleton, George H. James, George H. James, Mark Mimovich, Mark Mimovich, } "Vibration isolation for launch of a space station orbital replacement unit", Proc. SPIE 5386, Smart Structures and Materials 2004: Damping and Isolation, (29 July 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.547409; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.547409

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