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Shock and Vibration
Volume 3 (1996), Issue 3, Pages 211-221

Procedures to Compute Maximum Structural Responses from Predictions or Measurements at Selected Points

Allan G. Piersol

Piersol Engineering Company, Woodland Hills, CA 91364-4830, USA

Received 22 May 1995; Accepted 27 December 1995

Copyright © 1996 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


It is common to establish shock and vibration design and/or test criteria for equipment mounted on a structure by computing a conservative upper bound for the spectrum of the dynamic load induced response of the structure based upon predicted or measured spectra at various points. This task is usually accomplished by one of five procedures, namely, the computation from the available spectra of a simple envelope, a normal tolerance limit, a distribution-free tolerance limit, an empirical tolerance limit, or a normal prediction limit. These five procedures are reviewed and illustrated using the power spectra computed from vibration signals measured during the lift-off of a large launch vehicle at 12 locations in a structural region where equipment will be mounted. The results are compared and the merits and liabilities of the various procedures are discussed.