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Advances in Acoustics and Vibration
Volume 2009, Article ID 538731, 10 pages
Research Article

Analytical and Experimental Study Using Output-Only Modal Testing for On-Orbit Satellite Appendages

1Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Concordia University, Montreal, Qc, Canada H3G 1M8
2Canadian Space Agency, Space Technologies, John H. Chapman Space Center, Saint-Hubert, Qc, Canada J3Y 8Y9

Received 8 May 2008; Revised 20 January 2009; Accepted 25 February 2009

Academic Editor: Samir Gerges

Copyright © 2009 Mashiul Alam et al. 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.


Output-only modal testing is an effective technique to identify the modal parameters of structural systems under ambient or operational conditions and has potential applications in civil, mechanical, and aerospace engineering. It may effectively be used for model validation, model updating, quality control, and health monitoring through the determination of modal characteristics of the structures. This approach to modal testing has great potential for ground and on-orbit modal testing of space hardware, especially for flexible structures such as membrane payloads where the operating and ambient excitations, such as firing of AC thrusters and ambient thermal shock, are difficult or impossible to measure. The main objective of this work is to conduct analytical and experimental study on output-only modal testing and to demonstrate its potential application to effectively extract modal parameters of an on-orbit satellite appendage.