A minimum drives automatic target definition procedure for multi-axis random control testing

Umberto Musella, Giacomo D'Elia, Alex Carrella, Bart Peeters, Emiliano Mucchi, Francesco Marulo, Patrick Guillaume

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) vibration control tests are able to closely replicate, via shakers excitation, the vibration environment that a structure needs to withstand during its operational life. This feature is fundamental to accurately verify the experienced stress state, and ultimately the fatigue life, of the tested structure.

In case of MIMO random tests, the control target is a full reference Spectral Density Matrix in the frequency band of interest. The diagonal terms are the Power Spectral Densities (PSDs), representative for the acceleration operational levels, and the off-diagonal terms are the Cross Spectral Densities (CSDs). The specifications of random vibration tests are however often given in terms of PSDs only, coming from a legacy of single axis testing. Information about the CSDs is often missing. An accurate definition of the CSD profiles can further enhance the MIMO random testing practice, as these terms influence both the responses and the shaker’s voltages (the so-called drives). The challenges are linked to the algebraic constraint that the full reference matrix must be positive semi-definite in the entire bandwidth, with no flexibility in modifying the given PSDs.

This paper proposes a newly developed method that automatically provides the full reference matrix without modifying the PSDs, considered as test specifications. The innovative feature is the capability of minimizing the drives required to match the reference PSDs and, at the same time, to directly guarantee that the obtained full matrix is positive semi-definite. The drives minimization aims on one hand to reach the fixed test specifications without stressing the delicate excitation system; on the other hand it potentially allows to further increase the test levels. The detailed analytic derivation and implementation steps of the proposed method are followed by real-life testing considering different scenarios.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)452-468
Number of pages17
JournalMechanical Systems and Signal Processing
Issue number2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • MIMO control
  • Minimum drives power
  • Multi-axis environmental testing
  • Positive semi-definite matrix
  • Random vibration


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