A VCM-based novel whole-spacecraft vibration isolation device: simulation and experiment

Jie Tang1 , Dengqing Cao2 , Zhaohong Qin3 , Haibo Li4 , Dengshuo Chen5

1, 2, 5School of Astronautics, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, 150001, P. R. China

3, 4Beijing Institute of Structure and Environment Engineering, Beijing, 100076, P. R. China

2Corresponding author

Journal of Vibroengineering, Vol. 20, Issue 2, 2018, p. 1035-1050. https://doi.org/10.21595/jve.2017.18494
Received 16 April 2017; received in revised form 24 July 2017; accepted 10 August 2017; published 31 March 2018

Copyright © 2018 JVE International Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Creative Commons License

In the launching process, the spacecraft situated in an extreme dynamic environment may withstand by various dynamic loads such as noise loading in the fairing, motor excited vibration, shock of the separation devices, etc. To achieve a successful launching, the device called whole-spacecraft vibration isolator is usually installed between the adapter and the spacecraft to prevent the later from being damage. A novel WSVI device, which composed of supporting leaf springs, voice coil motors (VCM) and actuator supports, is designed to suppress the structural vibration of the spacecraft in this paper. The novel WSVI device features small space footprint and light weight, and satisfy the design requirement of vibration isolation without changing of the Payload Adaptor Fitting structure. A dynamic model of the WSVI device is established to evaluate the performance of the system. The dynamic characteristics and responses subjected to external excitation are studied for the spacecraft installed with WSVI. The vibration isolation performance is analyzed after turning the VCM into passive dampers. The results show that the novel WSVI device, which can reduce the amplitude of vibration response of the spacecraft significantly, is valid for vibration suppression of the spacecraft.

Keywords: whole-spacecraft vibration isolation, voice coil motors, dynamic model, vibration suppression.


The authors are grateful to the Foundation of Civil Astronautics and the Pre-research Foundation of General Armament Department of China for financial support in this study.


  1. Johnson C. D., Wilke P. S. Protecting satellites from the dynamics of the launch environment. AIAA Space Conference and Exposition, Long Beach, California, 2003. [CrossRef]
  2. Johnson C. D., Wilke P. S., Grosserode P. J. Whole-spacecraft vibration isolation system for the GFO/Taurus mission. Symposium on Smart Structures and Materials, 1999, p. 175-185. [CrossRef]
  3. Johnson C. D., Wilke P. S., Darling K. R. Multi-axis whole-spacecraft vibration isolation for small launch vehicles. SPIE’s 8th Annual International Symposium on Smart Structures and Materials, 2001, p. 153-161. [CrossRef]
  4. Johnson C. D., Wilke P. S. Recent launches using the SoftRide whole-spacecraft vibration isolation system. AIAA Space Conference and Exposition, Albuquerque, New, Mexico, 2001. [CrossRef]
  5. Johnson C. D., Wilke P. S. Whole-spacecraft shock isolation system. SPIE’s 9th Annual International Symposium on Smart Structures and Materials, San Diego, CA, 2002. [CrossRef]
  6. Kern D. L., Gerace C. A. Implementation of a whole spacecraft isolation system for the OSTM/Jason 2 mission. Aerospace Conference, 2008, p.1-8. [CrossRef]
  7. Raman S. J., Paul S. W., Conor D. J. Rapid coupled loads analysis and spacecraft load reduction using SoftRide. 23rd Annual Conference on Small Satellites, 2009. [CrossRef]
  8. Johal R., Christensen J., Doud D. ORBCOMM generation 2 access to LEO on the falcon 9 using SoftRide, a case history. Conference on Small Satellites, 2012. [CrossRef]
  9. Rittweger A., Beig H., Konstanzer P., Dacal R. B. Active payload adaptor for Ariane 5. 56th International Astronautical Congress of the International Astronautical Federation, Fukuoka, Japan, 2005, p. 3654-3665. [CrossRef]
  10. Rittweger A., Beig H., Konstanzer P., Bureo Dacal R. Feasibility demonstration of an active payload adapter for Ariane 5. Proceedings of the European Conference on Spacecraft Structures, Materials and Mechanical Testing, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, 2005, p. 149. [CrossRef]
  11. Fram B. J., Thomas G. R., Fadick C. M. A multi-payload adapter for peacekeeper-based space launch vehicles. Space Conference and Exhibit, San Diego, California, 2004. [CrossRef]
  12. Griffin S. F., Sciulli D. Whole-Spacecraft Hybrid Isolation System for Launch Vehicles. U.S. Patent No. 6,135,390, 2000. [CrossRef]
  13. Khorrami F., Rastegar J. S., Erwin R. S. Three-degree-of-freedom adaptive-passive isolator for launch vehicle payloads. SPIE’s 7th Annual International Symposium on Smart Structures and Materials: International Society for Optics and Photonics, 2000, p. 164-175. [CrossRef]