1320. Aerodynamic Effects on Spacecraft Moment of Inertia Measurement


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D L Jones: 1320. Aerodynamic Effects on Spacecraft Moment of Inertia Measurement. 1979.



The effective inertia of a spacecraft is higher in air than it is in a vacuum because of the air that moves with the spacecraft. The uncertainty in knowing the effects of this air is the major error term for large, light-weight spacecraft. Procedures for calculating the effective inertia of the ambient air for several simple geometric shapes are presented. These procedures were obtained from the literature on aircraft, liquid-filled propellant tanks, and hydrodynamic theory. Moment of inertia measurements of an aerodynamic model of a typical spacecraft were made i n a vacuum chamber. The difference in the inertia with and without air was a measure of the aerodynamic effects. Data for both roll and transverse axes .is presented. The application of the calculative procedures to the aerodynamic model is described. Good agreement between .the calculated and measured effects was obtained.


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