New Vibration Table Testing Developed

A retired researcher and consultant of Sandia National Laboratories developed algorithms more than 30 years ago that are now being used by Sandia for high-frequency vibration machines. These machines shake things in multiple directions at the same time, and are reportedly significant to the automotive and aerospace industries.

Kevin Cross, who is in charge of Sandia’s vibration lab, explained that these tests, developed by David Smallwood, are “mimicking rides on airplanes, [on] rockets or in the back of a truck to ensure components or systems that we’re testing are going to survive their environment before we fly them.” This multi-directional testing is known as six degrees of freedom, or 6DOF.

Because these high frequency vibration machines are still fairly new, the technology demonstrates some difficulties. “There are tons of questions about how to use 6DOF in our testing philosophy, what to use for specifications and how to control 6DOF machines,” Sandia systems engineer Davinia Rizzo  said.



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