This work is focusing to study the structural behavior of Composite Overwrapped Pressure Vessels (COPVs). These COPVs are found in many engineering applications. In the aerospace field, they are installed onto spaceships and aid the reorientation of the spacecraft in very far and airless, therefore frictionless, orbits to save energy and fuel. The intent of this research is to analyze the difference in performance of both perfectly intact and purposely damaged tanks. Understanding both the source and location of a structural fault will help NASA engineers predict the performance of COPVs subject to similar conditions, which could prevent failures of important missions. The structural behavior of six tanks is investigated by means of experimental modal analysis. Knowledge of statistical signal processing methods allows to sort out and extract meaningful features from the data as to gain understanding of the performance of the structures. Structural identification is carried out using Narrow Band and Broad Band algorithms. A comparison through correlation tables and figures presents the differences in natural frequencies, mode shapes and damping ratios of all structures. A careful analysis displays the deviation of these modal parameters in the damaged tanks, highlighting the evident structural defects.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Catbas, F. Necati


Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (B.S.C.E.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering


Orlando (Main) Campus



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date

May 2016