In recent years, there has been a significant interest in, and move towards using highly sensitive, precision payloads on space vehicles. In order to perform tasks such as communicating at extremely high data rates between satellites using laser cross-links, or searching for new planets in distant solar systems using sparse aperture optical elements, a satellite bus and its payload must remain relatively motionless. The ability to hold a precision payload steady is complicated by disturbances from reaction wheels, control moment gyroscopes, solar array drives, stepper motors, and other devices. Because every satellite is essentially unique in its construction, isolating or damping unwanted vibrations usually requires a robust system over a wide bandwidth. The disadvantage of these systems is that they typically are not retrofittable and not tunable to changes in payload size or inertias.
During the Phase I MVIS program, funded by AFRL and DARPA, a hybrid piezoelectric/D-strut isolator was built and tested to prove its viability for retroffitable insertion into sensitive payload attachments. A second phase of the program, which is jointly funded between AFRL and Honeywell, was started in November of 2002 to build a hexapod and the supporting interface electronics and do a flight demonstration of the technology. The MVIS-II program is a systems-level demonstration of the application of advanced smart materials and structures technology that will enable programmable and retrofittable vibration control of spacecraft precision payloads. This paper describes the simulations, overall test plan and product development status of the overall MVIS-II program as it approaches flight.