Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Scott K. Thomas (Advisor), J. Mitch Wolff (Committee Member), Jose A. Camberos (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)


Devices expected to operate in elevated or non-standard acceleration fields are often tested in similar conditions prior to deployment. Typically these tests only simulate steady-state acceleration fields in one direction. However, real acceleration fields often vary both directionally and temporally. Designing experiments to produce these conditions requires careful forethought and analysis in order to understand the emergent acceleration components that result from the methodology. An experiment was designed and executed on a horizontal centrifuge in which the radial acceleration varied sinusoidally between -10 < a_r < 10 g. Negative acceleration was achieved by rotating the test article relative to the radial acceleration vector using a servo motor. A model was developed that predicted the acceleration field at every point along the test article. The model provided important information such as the acceleration magnitude and direction anywhere on the test device at any point in time. This model was then used to optimize the velocity profile of the servo motor to minimize experimental artifacts.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Year Degree Awarded