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Multi Degree of Freedom Vibration Testing Far Superior to Sequential Single Axis Testing in Precipitating Failures in Electronics

San Jose, California — April 10, 2014 – A recent study at the Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE) at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland has shown that traditional sequential single-axial testing is inadequate, expensive, time consuming and provides misleading reliability predictions in comparison to simultaneous six degree of freedom testing.

Ed Habtour, principal investigator on the project at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory at the Vehicle Technology Directorate (ARL/VTD), said that test methods developed by ARL, U.S. Army Materiel Systems Activity Analysis, Aberdeen Test Center, the University of Maryland’s Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE), TEAM Corporation and Data Physics Corporation were conducted using the TEAM Tensor 900 six degrees of freedom (6-DoF) shaker, one of only three of its kind in the world. The objective is to develop high fidelity physics of failure (PoF) based reliability models. Habtour went on to say that discoveries from this breakthrough study could lead to changes in the way industry conducts vibration testing for cars, trucks and aircraft.

The project receives support from the industry-government consortium which sponsors this research at CALCE. “The consortium consists of leading electronics manufacturers and users from both military and commercial arenas,” explained Dr. Abhijit Dasgupta, professor at the University of Maryland’s CALCE.

Military electronic equipment must operate in harsh environments and military standards provide the guidance for vibration testing. Vibration testing is typically performed using sequential single axis tests in each of 3 orthogonal axes. The most recent revision of the military standard, Mil-Std-810G, for the first time, includes methods for simultaneous multi degree of freedom testing.

“One of the key challenges in re-creating life-cycle vibration conditions in the lab is the re-creation of simultaneous multi-axial excitation that components experience in the field, as seen in various complex dynamic loads, including shock and vibration,” described Habtour.

The Data Physics Matrix multishaker controller was used in this study to produce six degrees of freedom vibration – three translational and three rotational motions simultaneously. The Matrix controller offers a wide range of multi-degree of freedom vibration and shock testing capabilities including, random, sine, classical shock, shock response spectra, mixed mode (sine on random, random on random) and time waveform replication control.

US Army press release

Data Physics Multishaker vibration control

Established in 1984, Data Physics is a leading global supplier of high performance noise and vibration test solutions. Data Physics manufactures hardware and software with its full line of SignalCalc Dynamic Signal Analyzers, SignalStar Vibration Control Systems, SignalForce Electrodynamic Shakers and SignalSound High Intensity and Underwater Acoustic Systems.


Bourke MacDonald
Marketing Communications Specialist

Multi Degree of Freedom Vibration Testing Far Superior to Sequential Single Axis Testing in Precipitating Failures in Electronics - Data Physics Corporation

Data Physics Multishaker vibration control. Photo courtesy of CALCE.