Space structures are exposed to pyroshocks and other similar shocklike events during launch and whilst in operation, for example when triggering the separation mechanism with explosive bolts and pyrotechnic fasteners.
The pyroshock test facilities enable space components and systems to be qualified during simulations of intense transient excitation caused by pyrotechnic ignitions (pyroshocks). The 'ringing plate' method is used in this process. An aluminium plate (the ringing plate) and the adapted test object on the plate are excited to vibrate at high frequencies by an intense and very short impulse. These high impulses are generated by a powder-actuated tool or even a freehand, drop or swing hammer. The shock plate, together with the entire test structure, can be individually adapted for a certain main response frequency. By default, an aluminium shock plate with a surface area of one square metre is used.
The pyroshock test rig, as well as the measurements performed on it, are part of the mechanical dynamic test laboratory, and are accredited in accordance with DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025:2005, including Standard ECSS-EST-10-03C Space Engineering Testing, MIL - STD-810 G Environmental Test Methods, and NASA-STD-7003 Pyroshock Test Criteria.