NOISE AND VIBRATION OF SPACECRAFT STRUCTURES
The launch of space craft generates extreme conditions, such as vibrations and acoustics that can affect the launch pad, space craft, and their payloads. The noise at launch and during the two-minute liftoff and transonic climb phase causes intense acoustic loads. These acoustic loads are the result of an intense acoustic environment generated by the interaction of the rocket-engine exhaust stream mixing with the atmosphere. Pyroshocks, that occur when spacecraft vehicle stages separate, cause additional vibration problems. In this article, an overview of the main aspects related to noise and vibration problems experienced by spacecraft structures is presented. Most of the information is based on the Space Shuttle experiences at the NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC). In addition, a review of the vibroacoustic research being conducted at KSC is presented. These research programs are aimed at designing future space launch facilities, where cost and rocket exhaust launch noise are significantly reduced.