The Dynamic Response Computation (DIRECT) computer program simulates vibrations induced in a complex structure by applied dynamic loads. Developed to enable rapid analysis of launch- and landing-induced vibrations and stresses in a space shuttle, DIRECT also can be used to analyze dynamic responses of other structures — for example, the response of a building to an earthquake, or the response of an oil-drilling platform and attached tanks to large ocean waves. For a space-shuttle simulation, the required input to DIRECT includes mathematical models of the space shuttle and its payloads, and a set of forcing functions that simulates launch and landing loads. DIRECT can accommodate multiple levels of payload attachment and substructure as well as nonlinear dynamic responses of structural interfaces. DIRECT combines the shuttle and payload models into a single structural model, to which the forcing functions are then applied. The resulting equations of motion are reduced to an optimum set and decoupled into a unique format for simulating dynamics. During the simulation, maximum vibrations, loads, and stresses are monitored and recorded for subsequent analysis to identify structural deficiencies in the shuttle and/or payloads.

This program was written by Tim T. Cao of Johnson Space Center. For further information, contact the Johnson Commercial Technology Office at (281) 483-3809.