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Flight Dynamics and Simulation of Laser Propelled Christopher G. Ballard
 

Summary: Flight Dynamics and Simulation of Laser Propelled
Lightcraft
Christopher G. Ballard
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California 91109
Kurt S. Anderson
Leik Myrabo
Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Troy NY 12180-3590
Abstract
A seven degree-of-freedom (DOF) dynamic model was developed to provide insight
into the flight behavior of Type 200 and other related Lightcraft, and to serve as
a research tool for developing future engine-vehicle configurations for laser launch-
ing of nano-satellites (1-10+ kg). Accurate engine, beam, and aerodynamics mod-
els are included to improve the predictive capability of the 7-DOF code. The aero-
dynamic forces of lift, drag, and aerodynamic pitching moment were derived from
Fluent computational fluid dynamics predictions, and calibrated against limited ex-
isting wind tunnel data. To facilitate 7-DOF model validation, simulation results are
compared with video analysis of actual flights under comparable conditions. Despite
current limitations of the 7-DOF model, the results compared well with experimental

  

Source: Anderson, Kurt S. - Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

 

Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences