Sensor for Extreme Vibration

| Environmental Testing

Spacecraft payloads undergo extreme vertical and horizontal vibration testing

Large piezoelectric 3-component force sensor enables high energy shock and vibration testing for extreme applications

With a measuring range of up to 450kN in the Z axis and 100kN in the X and Y axes, Kistler’s Type 9397C 3-component force sensor is now offering a measuring capacity, which the company believes is unique in the market.

The largest sensor of its type in the world is an ideal choice for performing large-scale measurement tasks such as capturing high impact forces in crash tests, similarly large shock loads and extreme vibration tests. Although configured for the high end of the measurement range, the Swiss specialist in piezoelectric measurement technology points out that its ready-to-use custom products are also able to cope with extremely high measurement ranges.

Kistler piezoelectric 3-component force sensors are typically used for the measurement of dynamic and quasistatic tensile and compression forces, especially where small variations need to be detected. Being very rigid, the high natural frequencies make the measurement of the smallest dynamic changes to very large forces in all three directions with high precision and excellent reliability. The sensors are fully calibrated and pre- loaded on delivery and can be installed straight from the box.

Aircraft Landing Gear Testing

A typical application for the accelerometer is in performing drop tests on aircraft landing gear, which simulates the considerable forces that act on the landing gear as the aircraft lands on the runway.

In this kind of test, the entire landing gear is typically raised to a specified height that represents the kind of drop an aircraft is likely to encounter. During the test, the aircraft wheel is accelerated and then dropped onto a dynamometer that has four sensors installed on it. The test achieves simultaneous measurements of the forces encountered up to 900kN Fz and 400kN Fx/y.

High speed crash testing

Crash testing requires a set of carefully positioned accelerometers that are configured to measure the kind of high shock loads encountered during a collision. The higher the speed of the crash, the higher the load that is expected to be measured.

The Kistler 3-component force sensor has found an application that takes crash testing to the extreme. In 2017, the company supplied its accelerometers for use on a unique crash wall designed for testing high speed trains in China. This application has a measuring range that is 20 times greater than the crash walls used by the automotive industry.

Spacecraft payload testing

Spacecraft payloads such as telescopes and electronic instruments are subjected to strong quasistatic and mechanical-dynamic forces during the test phases of space flight programs.

To qualify the structures for space flight, vibration and shock test rigs are used to simulate the vibration levels during the load tests. The Force-Limited Vibration Testing method is used to restrict the force applied and prevent damage to payloads because of excessive forces. To achieve this, 3-component force sensors are integrated on the interface between the shaker and the payload.

The unique Type 9397C 3-component force sensor from Kistler simplifies high impact and vibration testing in a wide variety of applications such as these.

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