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NASA Unveils Ares I Thrust Oscillation Plans
Thrust oscillation graphic
To mitigate the thrust oscillation potential on the Ares 1 rocket, engineers are looking to use a combination approach. They have proposed an active tuned mass absorber that would detect the frequency and amplitude of the thrust oscillation with accelerometers and internal pressure sensors, and use battery-powered motors to move spring mounted weights up and down to damp the vibration out. Engineers are also looking to use a passive "compliance structure" -- essentially a spring-loaded ring that would detune the stack by softening the interface between the first and upper stages while preserving lateral stability -- in the Ares 1 design concept. (Image credit: NASA)

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