Nonlinear Vibration Analysis of a Complex Aerospace Structure

  • S. B. Cooper
  • D. Di Maio
  • D. J. Ewins
Conference paper
Part of the Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series book series (CPSEMS)


Complex shaped aerodynamic structures such missiles are prone to exhibit some level of nonlinear phenomena due to their aerodynamically tailored design and application. Aside from the aerodynamic and aeroelastic challenges experienced by a missile, an important but fundamental challenge encountered by a deployable missile is the inevitable concentrated structural nonlinearities which are observed around the hinge of its fins. Due to the current design and manufacturing process, the hinge of the fin of a missile often consist of complex configurations, joints and other nonlinear features that leads to concentrated structural nonlinearities. Some of the nonlinearities encountered includes off sets, piecewise linear, bilinear nonlinearity, hysteresis, coulomb friction and damping nonlinearities. These nonlinearities are frequently triggered at large vibration amplitudes caused by high pressure loads during operational flight. Activation of these nonlinearities often affect the dynamic response of the missile and in some cases lead to structural failures in the air vehicle. In this context, identifying and predicting the vibration response of aerodynamic structures with nonlinearities will be of great advantage to the present aerospace industries. In this paper the nonlinear dynamic behaviour of a prototype missile is examined using established nonlinear identification methods applied to measured data obtained from experimental test. The nonlinear identification is achieved using the acceleration surface method and the Hilbert transform FORCEVIB method, these methods are applied to sine-sweep excitation and stepped sine excitation measurements to obtain nonlinear parametric coefficients. The nonlinear experimental model was developed using the white box identification process (Detection, Characterisation and Parameter Estimation). In addition, Force controlled stepped sine experiments at several excitation levels were conducted to gain useful insight into the amplitude dependant behaviour of the missile in the existence of structural nonlinearities.


Experimental test Missile Structural nonlinearities and nonlinear identification 



Author Samson B. Cooper would like to acknowledge the financial support of EPSRC for sponsoring this research. Author would also like to thank Chris Roberts for providing the test structure.


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Copyright information

© The Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of BristolBristolUK

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