History

MSI-DFAT®: 12 Years of Spacecraft Acoustical Testing, 100 Tests Performed

The Maryland Sound International-Direct Field Acoustic Test (MSI-DFAT®) Company is a sister company of Maryland Sound International (MSI), which is one of the world’s leading production companies. MSI expanded into spacecraft testing 12 years ago performing acoustic tests at Orbital Sciences and has since completed nearly 100 tests for many satisfied clients. MSI-DFAT® has created an effective and unique modular method for the purpose of environmental testing aerospace structures and related flight equipment.

Learn more about DFAT® Services here.

Development of the MSI-DFAT® System Timeline

  • 1966: Direct Field Acoustic Testing first proposed for launch vehicle and large component testing
  • 1994: Component and subsystem testing at MSFC begins
    • Acoustic testing using Electro-Voice equipment to 140dB OSPL
  • 1998: Feasibility demonstration
    • Renkus-Heinz equipment, 134dB
    • Failed 6.5” horns & 1” compression drivers due to overheating/5-8 sigma peaks
  • 1998: NASA/JPL QUICKSCAT spacecraft
    • Testing performed at Ball Aerospace using JBL equipment to 135dB OSPL
  • 1999: Capability Demonstration
    • Modified Renkus-Heinz equipment
    • Employed peak compression & improved cooling to achieve 138dB
    • Failed 6” horns & 1” compression drivers due to overheating at 144dB
  • 1999: TSX-5 & ACRIM Testing
    • MSI equipment, manual equalizer control to 134dB
  • 2000: BSAT/COTE
    • MSI equipment, manual equalizer control to 144dB
  • 2000: GSFC Control System Test
    • Norsonic 731 Spectrum Shaper & 830 RTA used for closed-loop control
  • 2002: Added Digital DAQ System
    • NI LabView and Sound & Vibration Tool Set
  • 2003: Developed Spectral-Dynamics SISO Controller
    • Narrow-band random control applied to acoustic spectrum
    • Single (average) Input, Single Output (drive)
    • All random test features available for acoustic testing
  • 2009: Recommended Practice
    • DFAT® Subcommittee (DTE400) of the IEST HIAT (DTE040)
    • Contact Albert Lee or Dick Foss at LMSSC
  • 2010: Developed Spectral-Dynamics MIMO Controller
    • Narrow-band random control applied to acoustic spectrum
    • Single (average) Input, Single Output (drive)
    • All random test features available for acoustic testing
  • 2011: Added drive matrix switch
    • Sound field shaping
    • Narrow-band tones at discrete locations
  • 2012: NASA Handbook
    • Ali Kolaini at NASA/JPL