Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Aerospace, Physics, and Space Sciences

First Advisor

Brian A. Kish

Second Advisor

Ralph D. Kimberlin

Third Advisor

Stephen K. Cusick

Fourth Advisor

Daniel Batcheldor


This paper outlines a proposed parameter for measurement of vibration and buffet in vehicles. It is intended to be used where applicable in lieu of raw accelerometer data or qualitative comments to measure ride quality, quantify vibration levels, and aid in certification matters. In flight vehicle applications which employ fly-by wire flight control systems with closed loop and variable gain control laws, the phenomenon of buffet in its various forms is becoming somewhat specious as an aircrew cue in relation to the stability and control of flight vehicles. In these applications, stability and control throughout the operating envelope is designed into the flight control laws, and aircraft state is communicated to the flight crew by advanced avionics. This allows tactile cues such as airframe noise and vibration to become secondary when these systems operate normally. A smoothed transformation of vibrational G-levels is proposed as a method to quantify vibration levels which would be perceived by aircrew or passengers. Such a value would be of use in developing improved certification criteria, and allow for greater scientific study and rectification of vibration and buffet phenomena. It could also lead to aircraft ride quality improvements, and quantified standard classification of atmospheric turbulence.