Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. James Kamman

Second Advisor

Dr. Koorosh Naghshineh

Third Advisor

Dr. Dennis VanderBrink

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Multibody dynamic systems designers utilize computer software extensively to simulate the motion of mechanical systems. The governing differential equations of motion are formulated and solved numerically. The accuracy of the numerical solutions is always a concern to the analyst. There have been many investigations done around the world to check the accuracy of these simulations, and based on these investigations, many methods have been developed. These methods are usually based on energy balance equations and can be used to test the validity or the correctness of the numerical solutions. This thesis analyzes and compares these methods based on their formulation and their applicability to test the accuracy of the simulations. A MATLAB/Simulink model of a triple pendulum example system is used to demonstrate the utility of each method. The methods are used to identify numerical inaccuracies associated with the differential equation solver, the integration step size, and errors in the equations of motion.