Asee peer logo

Parametric Time Domain System Identification Of A Mass Spring Damper System

Download Paper |


2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Labs, Demos and Software in Mechanics

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.985.1 - 10.985.11



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Bradley Burchett

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session #

Parametric Time Domain System Identification of a Mass-Spring-Damper System

Bradley T. Burchett

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, IN 47803


One of the key objectives of any undergraduate system dynamics curriculum is to foster in the student an understanding of the limitations of linear, lumped parameter models. That is, the student must come face to face with the fact that models do not perform exactly like the physical system they are created to emulate. This is best done in the laboratory with a physical system that has small non-linearities which prevent the student from obtaining an exact match between model and experiment. This work describes an experiment designed for the sophomore system dynamics course offered at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. This lab uses a commercially available hardware system and a digital computer. By a clever combination of various response data, and using known differences between effective masses, the effective inertia of motor, pinion, rack and cart are estimated without requiring disassembly of the system. Typical results are shown.


The mechanical engineering and electrical engineering faculty at Rose-Hulman (RHIT) are currently upgrading the system dynamics and controls laboratory. One of the primary courses this lab services is Analysis and Design of Engineering Systems (ES 205) which is a sophomore level system dynamics course taught to all mechanical, electrical, and biomedical engineering majors. ES 205 focuses on lumped parameter modeling of mechanical, electrical, fluid, and thermal systems.

The hardware plant used in this lab is the Educational Control Products (ECP) Rectilinear Control System1, shown in Figure 1. This is a translational mass-spring-damper system driven by a DC electric motor that provides up to three degrees of freedom of motion. System stiffnesses may be changed to the user's liking. A variable air damper may be connected to any of the masses.The plants also provide for varying the system mass by adding or removing 500g masses. Thus the differences in mass between possible configurations are well known.

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Burchett, B. (2005, June), Parametric Time Domain System Identification Of A Mass Spring Damper System Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15519

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2005 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015