Flexible structures in motion have specific features that are not a secret to a structural engineer. One of them is resonance—strong amplification of the motion at a specific frequency, called natural frequency. There are several frequencies that structures resonate at. A structure movement at these frequencies is harmonic, or sinusoidal, and remains at the same pattern of deformation. This pattern is called a mode shape, or mode. The modes are not coupled, and being independent they can be excited separately. More interesting, the total structural response is a sum of responses of individual modes. Another feature—structural poles—are complex conjugate. Their real parts (representing modal damping) are typically small, and their distance from the origin is the natural frequency of a structure.


Impulse Response Flexible Structure Truss Structure Antenna Structure Deep Space Network 
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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 2004

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