top header
top gradation HOME top vertical line top vertical line top vertical line top vertical line top vertical line top vertical line top vertical line menu gray
black line 2
menu gray tab More About ATI
menu blue ATI — Who We Are
white line
menu blue Contact ATI Courses
white line
menu blue List Of ATI Courses
white line
menu blue Attendees Testimonials
white line
menu blue The ATI FAQ Sheet
white line
menu blue Suggestions/Wait List
white line
menu blue New Courses
white line
menu blue Become an ATI Instructor
menu gray tab site resources
menu blue Acoustics & Sonar
white line
menu blue Rockets & Space
white line
menu blue GPS Technology
white line
menu blue ATI Blog
white line
menu blue ATI Space News
white line
menu blue ATI Site Map
white line
menu blue ATI Staff Tutorials
white line
menu blue ATI Sampler Page
white line
menu gray tab bar
menu gray tab courses
white line
menu blue Current Schedule
white line
menu blue Onsite Courses
white line
menu blue Register Online
white line
menu blue Request Brochure
white line
menu blue Free On-Site Price Quote
white line
menu blue Download Catalog
white line
menu blue Distance Learning
black line

Structural Test Design and Interpretation for Aerospace Programs

Share |


Technical Training Short On Site Course Quote

This three-day course provides a rigorous look at structural testing and its roles in product development and verification for aerospace programs. The course starts with a broad view of structural verification throughout product development and the role of testing. The course then covers planning, designing, performing, interpreting, and documenting a test. The course covers static loads testing at low- and high-levels of assembly, modal survey testing and math-model correlation, sine-sweep and sine-burst testing, and random vibration testing.




    Tom Sarafinhas worked full time in the space industry since 1979. He worked over 13 years at Martin Marietta Astronautics, where he contributed to and led activities in structural analysis, design, and test, mostly for large spacecraft. Since founding Instar Engineering in 1993, he’s consulted for ASA, DigitalGlobe, Lockheed Martin, Space Test Program, and other organizations” to “… NASA, DOD Space Test Program, DigitalGlobe, Lockheed Martin, and other organizations. He’s helped the U. S. Air Force Academy design, develop, and verify a series of small satellites and has been an advisor to DARPA. He was a member of the core team that developed NASA-STD-5020 and continues to serve on that team to help address issues with threaded fasteners at NASA. He is the editor and principal author of Spacecraft Structures and Mechanisms: From Concept to Launch and is a contributing author to Space Mission Analysis and Design. Since 1995, he has taught over 200 courses to more than 4000 engineers and managers in the space industry.

    Contact this instructor (please mention course name in the subject line)

What you will learn:

The objectives of this course are to improve your understanding of how to:

  • identify and clearly state test objectives
  • design (or recognize) a test that satisfies the identified objectives while minimizing risk
  • establish pass/fail criteria
  • design the instrumentation
  • interpret test data
  • write a good test plan and a good test report

Who should attend

    All engineers and managers involved in ensuring that flight vehicles and their payloads are structurally safe to fly. This course is intended to be an effective follow-up Instar’s course “Space-Mission Structures (SMS): From Concept to Launch”, although that course is not a prerequisite.

Course Outline:

  1. Overview of Structural Testing
  2. Why do a structural test? Structural requirements; the building-blocks verification process; verification logic flows; qualification, acceptance, and protoflight testing; selecting the right type of test; two things all tests need; test management: documents, reviews, and controls

  3. Designing and Documenting a Test
  4. Designing a test, suggested contents of a test plan, test-article configuration, boundary conditions, ensuring adequacy of a strength test, a key difference between a qualification test and a proof test, success criteria and effective instrumentation, preparing to interpret test data, documenting with a test report

  5. Loads Testing of Small Specimens
  6. Applications and objectives, common loading systems, test standards, case history: designing a test to substantiate new NASA criteria for analysis of preloaded bolts

  7. Static Loads Testing of Large Assemblies
  8. Introduction to static loads testing, special considerations, introducing and controlling loads, developing the load cases, example: developing load cases for a truss structure, be sure to design the right test!, centrifuge testing

  9. Testing on an Electrodynamic Shaker
  10. Test configuration, limitations of testing on a shaker, fixture design, deriving loads from measured accelerations, sine-sweep testing, sine- burst testing, understanding random vibration, random vibration testing, interpreting test data,

  11. Notching and Force Limiting.
  12. Understanding notching, case history of notching without technical rationale, methods of notching, force limiting, designing a force-limiting fixture, NASA’s semi-empirical method, examples, modification during test, response limiting, manual notching.

  13. Modal Survey Testing and Math Model
  14. Correlation Test objectives and target modes, designing a modal survey test, key considerations, test configuration and approaches, checking the test data, correlating the math model

  15. Case History: Vibration Testing of a Spacecraft Telescope
  16. Case History: Vibration Testing of a Spacecraft Telescope Overview, initial structural test plan, problem statement, revised test plan, testing at the telescope assembly level, testing at the vehicle level, lessons learned and conclusions

  17. Summary


    Tuition for this three-day course is $1850 per person per person at one of our scheduled public courses. Onsite pricing is available. Please call us at 410-956-8805 or send an email to