The past few days I've been working on making a noise budget for the STACIS that incorporates all the different noises that might be contributing.
The noises I am concentrating on are accelerometer noise, geophone noise, electrical noise, and ground noise. Noise from the PZT stacks themselves should be tiny according to various PZT spec sheets, but I haven't actually found a value for it (they all just say it's negligible), so I'll keep it in mind as a potential contributor.
Here's how I am determining accelerometer noise: I take two vertical accelerometers side by side, sitting on a granite block and covered in a foam box, and take the time series of both. Then I take the difference of the time series and calculate the PSD of that, which with the calibration factor of the accelerometers (the V/m/s sensitivity) I am able to find the noise in m/s/rtHz. The noise agreed with the accelerometer specs I found at low frequencies but was higher than expected at high frequencies, so I'm still investigating. If I can't find an obvious problem with my measurements I'll try the threecorner hat method (as per Jenne's recommendation), which would allow me to determine the noises of the independent accelereometers.
I tried a similar method for the geophone noise, but the value I came up with was actually higher than the accelerometer noise, which seems very fishy. I realized that the geophones were still connected to the STACIS circuitry when I took the measurements ,which was probably part of the problem. So this morning I disconnected the STACIS entirely and am looking at just the geophone signals which should give a more accurate noise estimate.
Once I have all the noises characterized, the next step is seeing how those noises affect the closed loop performance of the STACIS. I've been working on a block model that incorporates the different noises and transfer functions involved, and when I have the noises characterized I can test a prediction about how a certain noise affects the platform motion.
