The Air Force Research Laboratory team has been confronted with many unique testing challenges in the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization sponsored Vibration Isolation and Suppression System (VISS) performance test program, VISS incorporates a combination passive/active vibration mitigation technology in a Stewart platform configuration to provide a mechanically quiet platform for a medium-wavelength, infrared camera.

VISS actuator stiffnesses, insufficient to support the payload in a l-g field, require a gravity off-load system to simulate the free boundary conditions of space A performance test series characterized the test fixture dynamics, VISS payload dynamics and the open loop control system plant.

Passive performance has been characterized and the active performance measured in the laboratory will be verified when VISS is on-orbit. VISS goals include demonstrating good passive-based vibration isolation at high frequencies, augmenting low-frequency isolation with closed loop control, suppressing an on-board disturbance due to a cryocooler, and demonstrating steering capabilities of the payload with a prescribed amplitude and spectral content.

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