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Modal Survey Test and Model Correlation of the CASSIOPE Spacecraft



A comprehensive modal survey test based on multi-input multi-output experimental modal analysis techniques was conducted on the flight model of the CASSIOPE spacecraft in the final stages of integration, which included all of the payload and bus instruments and electronics boxes. The multiple-input excitation for the spacecraft was generated using two portable electrodynamic modal shakers installed on the top and bottom of the spacecraft to distribute the excitation energy and the response was measured using 81 miniature accelerometers. Advanced modal analysis software was used to extract modal parameters from the measured data and critical modes were compared with predictions from the finite element model. Most modes identified through the experimental data compared favorably with the predictions. Nevertheless, some differences were large enough to require iterative update of the finite element model. The structural dynamics information from the updated finite element model was used to plan the mechanical vibration qualification test and predict the response of the spacecraft to the launch vehicle environmental loads through coupled loads analysis to provide confidence in the structural integrity of the spacecraft design. This paper describes the details of the methodology used to perform the successful experimental modal test to efficiently extract the critical modes of the spacecraft to correlate with the model.