Dynamics of Axisymmetric Rockets in Free Flight

[+] Author and Article Information
F. O. Eke

Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, University of California, Davis, CA 95616

E. Cervantes

Control Systems Group, Bechtel Corporation, 50 Beale St., San Francisco, CA 94105

J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control 120(3), 410-414 (Sep 01, 1998) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2805418 History: Received July 24, 1995; Online December 03, 2007


The attitude behavior of an axisymmetric, solid-propellant rocket in a torque-free environment is examined. The focus is on assessing the impact of substantial mass variation on the behavior of such systems. The main finding is that both the spin rate and the transverse angular velocity can differ substantially from those that would be observed if mass variation were neglected. The deviation is exacerbated by the presence of large amounts of propellant (variable mass) in the system. The attitude motion of such systems is also greatly influenced by the shape of the propellant grain.

Copyright © 1998 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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