Publications / Conference Paper

Benefits of Using a Portable Coordinate Measurement Machine to Measure a Modal Test Geometry

Carter, Steven

Visualization of mode shapes is a crucial step in modal analysis. However, the methods to create the test geometry, which typically require arduous hand measurements and approximations of rotation matrices, are crude. This leads to a lengthy test set-up process and a test geometry with potentially high measurement errors. Test and analysis delays can also be experienced if the orientation of an accelerometer is documented incorrectly, which happens more often than engineers would like to admit. To mitigate these issues, a methodology has been created to generate the test geometry (coordinates and rotation matrices) with probe data from a portable coordinate measurement machine (PCMM). This methodology has led to significant reductions in the test geometry measurement time, reductions in test geometry measurement errors, and even reduced test times. Simultaneously, a methodology has also been created to use the PCMM to easily identify desired measurement locations, as specified by a model. This paper will discuss the general framework of these methods and the realized benefits, using examples from actual tests.