Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Eric D. Swenson, PhD


Researchers at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) and the Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) Office have conducted extensive vibration testing and structural modeling on the first ORS Plug-and-Play Satellite (PnPSAT I). The intent of this research effort is to evaluate the premise that current post-integration spacecraft environmental test requirements can be reduced or modified using accurately tuned finite element (FE) models. As part of this research, modal testing was conducted on the PnPSAT I structural panels at AFIT. The modal testing was part of a much larger series of experimental trials on various configurations of PnPSAT I at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) facilities at Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB). Multiple sets of vibration data were also collected from accelerometers on PnPSAT I from standard and modified spacecraft prelaunch sine sweep and random vibration tests. The modal data collected at AFIT is used to tune two PnPSAT I panel FE models and the random vibration data collected at KAFB is used to tune the complete satellite for one configuration. The goal is to create an accurate FE model capable of predicting the dynamic response in a frequency range of 0-300 Hz of various PnPSAT configurations. This modeling and tuning effort will be validated by comparing FE model predictions with measured vibrational response from the previously mentioned experimental trial.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number