Innovators at Marshall Space Flight Center developed the fluid-filled Frequency-Tunable Mass Damper (FTMD) technology that allows for significant distribution of loads while also providing a simple mechanism that allows for the capability to change its frequency of mitigation with negligible impact on the damper system. For existing fluid-filled pipes, ducts, ballast tanks, etc., the fluid can be leveraged to provide vibration mitigation. This new technology enables structural engineers to set and change the fundamental mitigation attributes of the mass damper system with little to no modification of the fluid container.

FTMD technology implements a fluid-based mitigation system where the working mass is all or a portion of the fluid mass that is contained within the geometric configuration of a channel, pipe, tube, duct, and/or similar structure. A compressible mechanism attached at one end of the geometric configuration structure enables minor adjustments that can produce large effects on the frequency and/or response attributes of the mitigation system.

Existing fluid-based technologies such as Tuned Liquid Dampers (TLD) and Tuned Liquid Column Dampers (TLCD)rely upon the geometry of a container to establish mitigation frequency and internal fluid loss mechanisms to set the fundamental mitigation attributes. The FTMD offers an innovative replacement since the frequency of mitigation and mitigation attributes are established by the compressible mechanism at the end of the container. This allows for simple alterations of the compressible mechanism to make frequency adjustments with relative ease and quickness.

NASA is actively seeking licensees to commercialize this technology. Please contact Sammy A. Nabors at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 256-544-5226 to initiate licensing discussions.