Structural Qualification Facilities

The David Florida Laboratory (DFL) has structural qualification tools ranging from electrodynamic shakers to a static load test system. The electrodynamic shakers have force ratings of 178 kN (40 k lbf), 105 kN (23.6 k lbf), and 27 kN (6 k lbf) respectively. To complement and support classical vibration testing, the DFL can also perform modal testing on complex space hardware. Further, proof load testing can be achieved using a Static Load Facility incorporating a 12-channel Cyber Fatigue Master Digital Control System. We also have many specialized testing facilities as listed in the following links:

Structural Qualification Facilities
  • Sinusoidal: 178 kN (40 k lbf)
  • Random: 165 kN (37 k lbf)
  • Stroke: 1 inch peak to peak
  • Slip plate: 1.83 x 1.83 m (72 x 72 inches) maximum; multiple plates available
  • Head expander: 1.22 m (48 inch) diameter.

    Note: Additional free-standing linear hydraulic bearings may supplement the existing large slip table on the UD 4000 Shaker.

  • Sinusoidal: 105 kN (23.6 k lbf)
  • Random: 105 kN (23.6 k lbf)
  • Stroke: 3 inch peak to peak
  • Slip plate: 1.52 x 1.52 m (60 x 60 inches) maximum
  • Head expander: 0.81 m (32 inch) diameter.

LING A395 Shaker

  • Sinusoidal: 27 kN (6 k lbf)
  • Random: 22 kN (5 k lbf)
  • Slip plate: 0.6 x 0.6 m (24 x 24 inches)
  • Head expander: 0.6 m (24 inch) diameter.
    Note: This shaker can also be employed for classical vibration testing.

BURNSCO Thermal Chamber

  • Temperature range: +170 to -50 degrees C (+338 to -76 degrees F)
  • Chamber size in vertical direction: 1.2 x 1.2 x 0.9 m (48 x 48 x 36 inches)
  • Chamber size in lateral direction: 1.2 x 1.2 x 1.35 m (48 x 48 x 53 inches).
  • Height: 3 m (10 ft)
  • Platen: 0.6 x 0.6 m (24 x 24 inches)
  • Specimen weight: 270 kg (600 lb) maximum.

The Pyroshock Simulation Shock Bench is used for three-axis far-field pyrotechnic shock simulation.

  • SRS: up to 3,000 G, three-axis
  • Specimen weight: up to 10 kg (22 lb)
  • Knee frequency: 1,000 Hz (others available).

The Modal Facility, consisting of excitation hardware, LMS Test.Lab software, and LMS SCADAS III S front end hardware has online data acquisition capability of up to 180 channels.

An additional Modal Facility, consisting of an HP B2000 workstation, HP 3565S front end hardware, and LMS CADA-X software, has online data acquisition capability of up to 104 channels.

The Modal Facility provides the following capabilities:

  • Modal analysis (single input, impact, step-relaxation)
  • MIMO modal analysis
  • MIMO stepped sine
  • Normal modes testing
  • Driven-base modal testing
  • Operational modal analysis.

A 12-channel Cyber Fatigue Master 7000 Digital Control System, with fatigue and static load control software packages, provides the control and safety monitoring for static load testing.

The Static Load Facility provides the following capabilities:

  • Displacement control capability
  • Force control capability
  • Hydraulic power unit: up to 20.68 MPa (3,000 psi), 75 litres/minute (20 US gallons per minute)
  • Hydraulic power unit (alternate): 38 litres/minute (10 US gallons per minute; 3,000 psi)
  • Cylinders (17): force ratings: 11.1 to 267 kN (2.5 to 60 k lbf), stroke: up to 15 cm (6 inches)
    Note: Six of these cylinders have integrated position transducers.
  • Servo valve flow rates (10): 9.5 litres/minute (2.5 US gallons per minute) (4), plus 3.8 litres/minute (1.0 US gallons per minute) (6)
  • Data acquisition system: hardware HP 3852; software Autonet
  • Strain gauge channels (250)
  • Displacement transducers: DC-DC LVDT (40)
  • Load cells (35): 4.5 to 225 kN (1,000 to 50,000 lbf)
  • Reaction frame design capability
  • Tie-down area on seismic block: 6 by 7 m (20 x 24 ft)
  • Complete range of safety features.
  • Block size: 7.3 x 8.8 x 2.75 m (deep) (24 x 29 x 9 ft)
  • Block mass: 366 tonnes (400 tons)
  • Block construction: concrete and steel
  • Block suspension: air spring
  • First dynamic mode: 98 Hz
  • Highest rigid body mode: 3 Hz
  • Usable dynamically inactive range: 90 Hz
  • T-slot rails for affixing test articles (14): 60 cm (24 inch) centres
  • Located in Class 100,000 clean room; Class 10,000 or better readily available.
  • MRC MK VII-16 (dual gas bearing machine)
  • Load carrying capability: 25 to 2,720 kg (50 to 6,000 lb)
  • Rotational speed: up to 200 RPM
  • Measures static imbalance: Centre of gravity (CG)
  • Measures dynamic imbalance: Products of inertia (POI)
  • Measures moments of inertia (MOI)
  • Measures CG, MOI in three axes with appropriate fixturing
  • Provides accurate measurement of POI at low speeds
  • Calculates the required balance weights
  • Optimizes balance weights to the minimum required
  • Recomputes balance weights for dedicated locations
  • Manipulates data relative to test article's axes
  • Computerized control console
  • Operates at atmospheric pressure and can operate within the TV5 Chamber (7x10) under soft vacuum
  • Load cells range from 2,000 to 50,000 lbs capacity for weight measurement
  • Del-Mar Avionic Hydrasets (7) range from 2,000 to 40,000 lbs capacity for precision load positioning.

Two LMS vibration control systems consisting of LMS Test.Lab software and LMS SCADAS III measurement hardware. Total real-time channel capability of the modular systems is 180 accelerometers including 28 strain gauge channels.

In addition, three LMS / HP vibration control systems consisting of HP B2000 workstations, HP 3565S measurement hardware and LMS software can control/notch/limit up to 64 channels. Note: The system has the capability for real-time data acquisition of up to 104 channels; 150 channels in non-real-time.

The vibration control systems provide the following capabilities:

  • Random control
  • Sine control
  • Force-limited vibration testing
  • Sine dwell
  • Shock control
  • Shock response synthesis
  • Sine on Random control
  • Random on Random control
  • Sine and Random on Random control
  • Sine data reduction
  • Random data reduction
  • Shock data reduction
  • Shock response analysis
  • Transient capture.
  • Accelerometers of various makes and sensitivities (more than 800)
  • Kisler load cells (34) from 1,100 to 22,500 lbf (5 to 100 kN) for force-limited vibration applications
  • Polytec scanning laser vibrometer for noncontact measurements
  • Charge amplifiers (144) (UD D-22)
  • Video cassette data recorders (5) (28-channel TEAC XD-9000)
  • Strain gauge amplifiers (15) (Vishay)
  • Vibration monitor/limiters (6) (UD AM-123).
  • Electric impact hammer (PCB)
  • Force hammers of various sizes (4) (PCB)
  • Force transducers (16) (PCB and DYTRAN): 44 to 440 N (10 to 100 lbf)
  • Phase Level Controller: LMS Krypton Box
    Note: Required for Normal Modes testing.
  • Portable exciters with power amplifiers (2) (B&K): 45 N (10 lbf)
  • Portable exciters with power amplifiers (3) (MB): 110 N (25 lbf)
  • Portable exciters with power amplifiers (2) (APS): 135 N (30 lbf)
  • Portable exciters with power amplifiers (2) (VTS): 220 N (50 lbf)
  • Step relaxation load / release mechanism
  • Source modules (6) SCADAS III
  • Source modules (5) (HP 35653C).

The Photogrammetry Facility uses the Geodetic Services V-STARS/S Photogrammetric Measurement System which allows fast, noncontact, full field, high precision, fully automated measurements of static retroreflective target coordinates and photogrammetric surveys. Photogrammetric surveys include thermal distortion tests of items such as antenna reflectors. Thermal distortion tests are done in the DFL's largest thermal vacuum chamber, TV5 Chamber (7x10) with the system operated remotely in a vacuum-proof canister. The system is used for deployment repeatability and thermal distortion tests on surfaces or structures to an accuracy of 10 ppm.

The single camera photogrammetry system consists of the following capabilities:

  • an INCA 6.3 Digital Camera that uses a built-in computer to control a digital camera having a resolution of 6.3 million pixels
  • V-STARS/S processing software that uses an integrated 3-D viewer for visualizing or analyzing data and integrated geometric analyses
  • a 2.8 m (110 inch) long, eight section Brunson Invar Scale Bar Kit
  • high precision resolution (0.002 inch)
  • highly portable system that can be used offsite
  • noncontact, full field measurement of deformation using retroreflective targets
  • hygroscopic deformation measurement in vacuum and ambient test including deployment repeatability or static load deformation.

The Laser Tracker Measurement and Alignment System allows fast, full field, high precision, automated measurements to a maximum of 1,000 points per second to an angle accuracy of ±10 ppm. The system is used for static measurements, and for dynamic measurements to a velocity of 6 m/s maximum (13 mph). It is also used to setup and verify the alignment parameters of critical test equipment. For distances greater than 2 m (6 feet), the system can employ an absolute distance meter (ADM) which allows for absolute distance measurement to any fixed corner cube reflector. Since the ADM does not function dynamically, this feature also enables the system to reinitialize the interferometer in case of beam breakage, or to use the tracker as a single point, polar measuring instrument.

The system consists of the following:

  • a Leica LTD500 laser tracker head with encoders for measuring rotation angles taken in relation to two orthogonal axes
  • New River Kinematics Spatial Analyzer application software
  • a laser interferometer for measuring distances to an accuracy of ±2.5 ppm
  • a large selection of corner cube reflectors and mounting hardware.

The Theodolite Measurement and Alignment System is able to perform autocollimation orientation and triangulation coordinate measurements associated with the integration and testing of spacecraft systems and scientific instruments. The system may be operated in a single theodolite mode, employing a single theodolite mounted on a vertical tooling bar and the test article mounted on a precision rotary table, or in a standalone multiple theodolite setup. The system can perform both autocollimation measurements on mirror cubes for orientation as well as coordinate measurements through multiple measurement point triangulation.

The Spatial Analyzer coordinate measuring software that is used to analyze data from theodolites, may also integrate measurements from the Laser Tracker and Photogrammetry System, using triangulation on common target positions, to create a fully integrated alignment and coordinate measurement system. The software also allows the direct integration of CAD models.

The Theodolite Measurement and Alignment System consists of the following:

  • electronic theodolites: Kern E2 (3)
  • electronic theodolites: Wild T2002 (1)
  • a 48 inch LFW-48 Rotab precision rotary table that is mounted to a Starrett 96 x 48 x 10 inch (thick) granite block
  • New River Kinematics Spatial Analyzer application software
  • a 2.8 m (110 inch) long, eight section Brunson Invar Scale Bar Kit
  • precision alignment stands and vertical tool bars (14).

Critical to the dynamic qualification phase of many space programs is the effect of acoustically induced vibration in spacecraft structures. The DFL assists in the conduct of these tests in collaboration with the Institute for Aerospace Research of the National Research Council of Canada, located in Ottawa.

The Institute for Aerospace Research maintains a large, high intensity noise, acoustic test facility for development, qualification, and acceptance testing of space hardware to support industry and other government departments. This is a unique national facility in which aerospace structures and equipment may be subjected to an environment of intense noise, thereby simulating the effect of rocket and jet engines or high speed aerodynamic flows.

The facility uses a large source of compressed air to drive very powerful, computer controlled noise generators for simulating aeroacoustic noise fields. Unique proprietary noise generators are used to accurately shape and simulate high frequency spectral bands from 1,000 to 10,000 Hz. Typical examples of high level aeroacoustic noise sources include rocket exhausts, high speed fans, propellers, and jets. Complementary disciplines of aeroacoustic research and test include structural dynamics, automatic adaptive control, noise spectrum analysis, and digital signal processing.

The Aeroacoustics Test Facility includes two reverberant chambers and a progressive wave tube:

  • The small chamber is approximately 4.6 x 4.6 x 3.1 m (15 x 15 x 10 ft) and can supply sound pressure levels up to 160 dB with accurate spectrum shaping between the frequencies of 30 and 10,000 Hz. It has been used to test the Canadian HERMES satellite as well as representative sections of aircraft fuselages. The progressive wave tube is part of this chamber

  • The large chamber is 9.8 x 6.9 x 8.0 m (32 x 23 x 26 ft) and can supply sound pressure levels up to 157 dB with accurate spectrum shaping between the frequencies of 30 and 10,000 Hz. The chamber together with a 15.9 x 13.2 x 13.5 m (52 x 43 x 44 ft) Class 100,000 clean room preparation bay has been used to test large satellites such as Canada's MSAT, RADARSAT-1, and ANIK-E, and the European Space Agency's Olympus spacecraft. In addition, numerous payload items such as antennas have been tested.

A computer-based automatic control system accurately controls the spectrum input to the chamber.