"20 Tons Moved Mass" - The Ariane 5 ESC-A Lower Assembly Vibration Test

Computer Science – Performance

Scientific paper

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Scientific paper

The new cryogenic upper stage of the Ariane 5 launcher (ESC-A) underwent a mechanical test campaign at IABG's Space Test Centre in 2003 under the responsibility of EADS Space Transportation. The campaign focussed on ESC-A's Lower Assembly and was highlighted by a vibration test of a configuration consisting of the filled LOX Tank, the Inter Tank Structure, the Equipped Thrust Frame and the Engine. The requirements for this vibration test exceeded the nominal system limitations of the test facility in several respects. The test configuration required a stiff vibration input interface at a height of 3 m above the shaker table, realized by a heavy conical test adapter. The resulting test set-up had dimensions of 5.4 m in diameter and 4.5 m in height and an overall test set-up mass of 25 t, including the required vibration tables and test adapters. For the measurement of all responses of interest, more than 520 measurement channels had to be provided. This presentation explains how the challenges of the ESC-A Lower Assembly Vibration Test were mastered. It describes the facility set-up, the mechanical and measurement set-up as well as some characteristic features of the test performance of this extraordinary vibration test.

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