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Smart Systems Laboratory (SSL

 (Directed by Dr. Onur Bilgen)



The Smart Systems Laboratory contains instrumentation and software to experimentally and numerically determine the natural frequencies, mode shapes and transient and steady-state responses of any structure. Applications include understanding vibration of civil and mechanical structures in addition to flutter and aeroelastic behavior of aircraft structures.


The behavior of smart systems and structures embedded with Thermo-Electric Generators (TEG), Shape Memory Alloys (SMA) and piezoelectric materials are simulated and analyzed in the laboratory.



Examples of theoretical and experimental analyses performed are:

  • MIT's Active Fiber Composite (AFC) - Dynamic response
  • Thermo-Electric Generators (TEG) - Power generation
  • NASA's Macro-Fiber Composite (MFC) - Active control of a buffeting in tail of an F-18
  • SMA materials investigated are Nickel-Titanium alloy series


Classes supported:

  • Undergraduate / Graduate: MAE 404/504 - Vibrations
  • Graduate: MAE 641 - Experimental Structural Dynamics


Instrumentation and Software:


  • DSP SigLab Network Analyzers (4 Simultaneous Channels)
  • Modal Analysis using the Star software
  • National Instruments (NI) Data Acquisition Modules (Multi-Channel, Multi-Function, 24bit)
  • NI LabVIEW Software
  • Vibration Exciters: 10 lb., 50 lb., 100 lb. and 800 lb. load capacity 
  • Bruel & Kjaer Pulse Analyzer to identify frequency spectrum and transient response
  • Impact Hammers for modal testing


Left to right: Piezoelectric Actuator (the MFC); Bruel & Kjaer 800 lb. Shaker Used for High Load Vibration Testing; MFC Actuated Solid-State Smart-Wing

Left to right: Wavetek VCG Signal Generator; Bertran High Voltage Power Supply; B&K Two-Channel DC Power Supply; Newport Vibration Isolation Table

Left to right: Newport Isolation table with several ongoing experiments; PCP Piezotronics Tear-Drop Accelerometer; NI cDAQ; TEG Demo; B&K Exciter

Single-DOF Simulator

B&K Charge Amplifier

Weller Soldering Station

Left to right: Amplifier for 100 lb. Shaker; High-Power B&K Amplifier for 800 lb. Shaker; Function Generator; NI USB DAQ; TREK 2220 High-Voltage Amplifiers