Flight vibration testing, buffeting and flutter testing

During flight testing, engineers validate the aircraft design by performing operational structural vibration testing. Many flight test scenarios are then applied to the aircraft in order to validate the shock and vibration performance of all aspects of the aircraft, including the control surfaces.

Flutter and buffeting tests are essential stages in the procedure for a new design qualification. In buffeting tests, flight load data is acquired so that real condition inputs can be defined for future structural testing requirements. These tests involve higher frequencies, so they need IEPE accelerometers to measure the vibration-induced load inputs into the structure and components. 

As opposed to buffeting tests, flutter measurements are typically performed with DC-response accelerometers; in this case, the aim is to study the aircraft's aeroelastic stability so that safe flight conditions are ensured.

Key technologies for the application

Our PiezoStar IEPE technology allows the sensor to have the same sensitivity whether the temperature is 25 °C (77 °F) or -55 °C (-67 °F ).

Both the MEMS capacitive and PiezoStar quartz-based sensors are available with an optimal design for ultra-low profile. This allows for applications in confined spaces.

Our anodized aluminum sensor base ensures solid ground isolation. This avoids ground loop issues that would generate major electrical noise perturbations within the measuring signal.

Some sensor solutions from Kistler use a hole design for convenient screw mounting. Sensors can also be rotated to achieve the desired cable location or measurement axis orientation.

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Kistler Instrument Corp.
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