Vibration testing of complex aerospace structures requires substantial pretest planning. Ground and flight testing of structures can be costly to execute in terms of time and money, so it is pertinent that tests are properly set up to capture mode shapes or dynamics of interest. One of the most important planning tasks is the placement of sensors to acquire measurements for control and characterization of the results. In this paper, we will examine two techniques that can leverage available output from finite element modeling to intelligently place accelerometers for a vibration test to capture the structural dynamics throughout a specified frequency range with a data acquisition channel budget. These two techniques are effective independence (EI) and optimal experimental design (OED). Both methods will be applied to an aerospace structure. Effects of the chosen sets on system equivalent reduction and expansion process (SEREP) is detailed alongside simpler comparison metrics, like the Auto-Modal Assurance Criterion (Auto-MAC). In addition to comparing the resulting instrumentation sets, the application of the two approaches will be compared in terms of the inputs required, the information obtained from their application, and the computation time requirements. Both OED and EI offer an effective method for selecting an instrumentation set for a given vibration test. EI is a straightforward, computationally inexpensive approach that provides effective instrumentation sets. OED provides an effective alternative that is less sensitive to the impact of local modes and leads to a natural ranking of importance for each chosen degree of freedom (DOF).

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