Vibration Isolation in a Microgravity Environment

[+] Author and Article Information
R. M. Alexander

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-3123

C. H. Gerhold

NASA-Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA 23665

C. B. Atwood

Solvay Polymers, Deer Park, TX 77536

J. F. Cordera

Schlumberger Technology Corporation, Sugar Land, TX 77478

J. Vib. Acoust 115(4), 477-483 (Oct 01, 1993) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2930375 History: Received November 01, 1991; Revised October 01, 1992; Online June 17, 2008


Many in-space research experiments require the microgravity environment attainable near the center of mass of the proposed space station. Since dynamic disturbances to the surrounding structure may undermine an experiment’s validity, isolation of these experiments is imperative. This paper summarizes analytical and experimental work accomplished to develop an isolation system which allows the pay load to float freely within a prescribed boundary while being kept centered with forces generated by small jets of air. An experimental setup was designed and constructed to simulate the microgravity environment In the horizontal plane. Results demonstrate the air jet control system to be effective in managing payload oscillatory response. An analytical model was developed and verified by comparing predicted and measured payload response. The mathematical model is then used to investigate payload response to disturbances likely to be present in the space station.

Copyright © 1993 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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