Converting a Driven Base Vibration Test to a Fixed Base Modal Analysis

  • Randy L. Mayes
  • Matthew S. Allen
Conference paper
Part of the Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series book series (CPSEMS)


Qualification vibration tests are routinely performed on prototype hardware. Model validation cannot generally be done from the qualification vibration test because of multiple uncertainties, particularly the uncertainty of the boundary condition. These uncertainties can have a dramatic effect on the modal parameters extracted from the data. It would be valuable if one could extract a modal model of the test article with a known boundary condition from the qualification vibration test. This work addresses an attempt to extract fixed base modes on a 1.2 meter tall test article in a random vibration test on a 1.07 meter long slip table. The slip table was supported by an oil film on a granite block and driven by a 111,000 Newton shaker, hereinafter denoted as the big shaker. This approach requires obtaining dominant characteristic shapes of the bare table. A vibration test on the full system is performed. The characteristic table generalized coordinates are constrained to zero to obtain fixed base results. Results determined the first three fixed base bending mode frequencies excited by the shaker within four percent. A stick-slip nonlinearity in the shaker system had a negative effect on the final damping ratios producing large errors. An alternative approach to extracting the modal parameters directly from transmissibilities proved to be more accurate. Even after accounting for distortion due to the Hann window, it appears that dissipation physics in the bare shaker table provide additional damping beyond the true fixed base damping.


Mode Shape Modal Parameter Fixed Base Frequency Response Function Vibration Test 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Experimental Mechanics, NDE and Model Validation DepartmentSandia National LaboratoriesAlbuquerqueUSA
  2. 2.Department of Engineering PhysicsUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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