Abstract

The response of a single-degree-of-freedom system to a nonstationary excitation is investigated by using the method of multiple scales as well as analog- and digital-computer simulations. The unexcited system has one focus and two saddle points. The system can be used to model rolling of ships in head or follower seas. The method of multiple scales is used to derive equations governing the modulation of the amplitude and phase of the response. The modulation equations are used to find the stationary solutions and their stability. The response to nonstationary excitations is found by integrating the original governing equation as well as the modulation equations. There is good agreement between the results of both approaches. For some frequency and amplitude sweeps, the nonstationary response found from integrating the original governing equation exhibits behaviors that are analogous to symmetry-breaking bifurcations, period-doubling bifurcations, chaos, and unboundedness present in the stationary case. The maximum response amplitude and the excitation amplitude or frequency at which the response becomes unbounded are found as functions of the sweep rate. The results of the digital-computer simulations are verified with an analog computer.

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