I am choosing a material for a spacecraft component, and I would like to estimate how it will perform under vibration, perhaps during launch.

How does one estimate this performance? Are there archetypal design equations for this sort of question? I'm essentially looking for a way to compare two materials against each other.


1 Answer 1


Shooting from the hip, this area is known as NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness). I suspect a bare comparison between materials doesn't tell you much. NVH depends very much on the design of the component: bracing can reduce vibration, the size of a component determines how high the resonance frequency of the component will be.
It may be possible to use the propagation speed of sound through a material to determine what the wavelength of a given frequency will be. From this you can derive at which size a panel will resonate to a given frequency.

The rocket provider should be able to tell you which vibration frequencies occur during launch, those are the ones you want to avoid resonance in.

For example: in the Ariane 5 user manual you'll find a section "Environmental conditions" which details the sound levels and vibration levels you can expect.


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