Notching and Force Limiting Workshop (NFLW)

Course length:

1 Day



Course dates

  • Nov 14 2024

    1 day, 10:00 AM EST - 06:30 PM EST
    Tom Sarafin
    • $600.00 excl.
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NFLW is a one-day computer workshop that is available only as an optional follow-on to STDI (Structural Test Design and Interpretation) or VTSS (Vibration Testing of Small Satellites) course.  Several Microsoft Excel spreadsheets will be provided to be used in class.  The instructor will guide the class into completing the first spreadsheet by filling in the applicable equations, as covered in STDI and VTSS.

The objectives of this course are for you to “learn by doing”.  The goal is for you to be able to design technically justifiable force limits, manual notches, and response limits for future tests.


Completion of one of either STDI or VTSS within 12 months of NFLW (preferably immediately before NFLW) or the instructor’s permission in advance.  Each participant must have his or her own laptop computer loaded with Microsoft Excel.


Tom Sarafin is President and Chief Engineer of Instar Engineering and Consulting, Inc. He has worked full time in the space industry since 1979 as a structural engineer, a mechanical systems engineer, a project manager, and a consultant.  Since founding Instar in 1993, he’s consulted for NASA, DARPA, the DOD Space Test Program, Lockheed Martin, DigitalGlobe (Maxar), Sierra Nevada Corp, Spaceflight Industries, Millennium Space Systems (Boeing), and other organizations.  He was a key member of the team that developed NASA-STD-5020, “Requirements for Threaded Fastening Systems in Spaceflight Hardware” (March 2012).  He is the editor and principal author of Spacecraft Structures and Mechanisms:  From Concept to Launch and is a contributing author to Space Mission Analysis and Design.  He’s also the principal author of a series of papers titled “Vibration Testing of Small Satellites.”  Since 1995, he has taught over 300 courses to more than 6000 engineers and managers in the aerospace industry.


REGISTRATION: There is no obligation or payment required to enter the Registration for an actively scheduled course. We understand that you may need approvals but please register as early as possible or contact us so we know of your interest in this course offering.

SCHEDULING: If this course is not on the current schedule of open enrollment courses and you are interested in attending this or another course as an open enrollment, please contact us at (410)956-8805 or Please indicate the course name, number of students who wish to participate. and a preferred time frame. ATI typically schedules open enrollment courses with a 3-5 month lead-time. To express your interest in an open enrollment course not on our current schedule, please email us at

For on-site pricing, you can use the request an on-site quote form, call us at (410)956-8805, or email us at