Many defense programs have vibration requirements for electronics which are often specified as random vibration input. Often, this input is based on measurements taken at the locations of interest for the spectrum of vehicle operating environments. The resulting specification is typically several power spectral density, or PSD, curves with associated durations. The root mean square acceleration, or Grms, can be readily calculated for each PSD curve. Grms values are sometimes used to compare different PSD curves for severity. However, this can be misleading. The impacts of two different random vibration inputs, with the same Grms value, can be very different. By calculating fatigue damage values for various components on a circuit card assembly subjected to these inputs, it can be shown that equal Grms values do not result in equal damage. In fact, there can be two orders of magnitude difference in component damage values. This means that Grms values are very poor indicators of random vibration effect, and should not be used for comparison purposes.

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