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ATA Engineering Develops New Vibration Testing Method

ATA Engineering issued patent for innovative vibration testing method

SAN DIEGO, Calif., Feb. 12, 2013 – ATA Engineering has been issued a patent on “Methods and Apparatus for Vibration Testing Using Multiple Sine Sweep Excitation,” an invention that represents a notable advancement in aircraft ground vibration modal testing.

Ground vibration testing, often performed on new, developmental, or modified aircraft, subjects a test article to controlled vibration and measures how it responds to determine its modal characteristics. This information is then used to update finite element models and improve the accuracy of flight flutter analysis. But while this sort of test has long been crucial to the process of preflight certification of aircraft and aerospace structures, the methods with the most precise results have also traditionally been the most time-consuming.

ATA’s novel excitation method, Multi-Sine, provides a way to combine aspects of two of the most common legacy methods, burst random and sine sweep, to yield the same quality of results in a much shorter time. Traditional sine sweep methods often require separate testing runs to be done for each flight or control surface pair and symmetry condition; with Multi-Sine, sine sweeps representing a variety of control or flight surface pairs, symmetry arrangements, and frequency ranges can be performed simultaneously, and testing time can be reduced by half or more. As a vibration test often comes at the end of development programs when schedules are tight, quicker testing can provide a significant benefit, preventing delays and the associated costs.

In the invention of Multi-Sine, ATA drew upon 30 years of experience performing vibration testing across a wide variety of industries and products. ATA’s history of innovation includes development of the Alias-Free Polyreference curve-fitting technique as well as a number of unique software tools for structural and dynamic analysis. Additionally, ATA holds two patents in aerospace and launch vehicle design.

Multi-Sine excitation is protected under US patent number 8,281,659.

For more information, please contact ATA Engineering at 858.480.2000.