Faculty Advisor

Gatsonis, Nikolaos A.

Project Center

MIT Lincoln Laboratory-Lexington, Massachusetts


The project addresses the design principles and performs finite element analysis (FEA) of vibration fixtures used for testing of space payloads at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. A review of standards that govern vibration testing of space and general payloads is presented. A set of principles and a tutorial for the design of vibration test fixtures is presented. The validation of the design principles is achieved through FEA of a vibration test fixture that involves a structure with panels, rails and support blocks. The FEA code PATRAN/NASTRAN is used and analysis of the three-dimensional computational results leads to design modifications that involve an added third panel. The redesigned fixture has increased stiffness, as well as reduced stress and displacement of its rails.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

October 2010


Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering

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