1013. Error Terms for Moment of Inertia Measurement

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1013. Error Terms for Moment of Inertia Measurement
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This paper presents error terms that are associated with the measurement of moment of inertia (MOI). Major emphasis is placed on the measurement techniques that are currently used in the aerospace industry for high-accuracy measurements of spacecraft MOI. These methods use period measurements of an oscillatory system and also use calibration weights as an integral part of the measurement process. Measurement accuracies better than 1% are typical. Both random and systematic error terms are discussed. Random errors include errors in period measurement and errors in calibration MOI measurement. The contribution of these terms to the total error is presented in parametric form. Sample cases using typical data are included. One systematic error term is the effect of ambient air. This effect is negligible for some configurations but becomes significant for large, lightweight spacecraft. Methods for estimating ambient air effects are discussed. Another systematic error term is the effect of test article elasticity. This term is analyzed as a multiple spring-mass system. Methods for estimating the effects of elasticity are presented.

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