1670. Dynamic Balancing Without Spinning : A New Method for Unwieldy Satellites


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R P Woolley: 1670. Dynamic Balancing Without Spinning : A New Method for Unwieldy Satellites. 1985.



The Ball Dynamic Balancing Machine, Mark III/ employing a principle not used before, balances objects that would be aerodynamically intractable on a conventional balancing machine. A conventional machine uses spin to excite the effects of imbalance so they can be measured. It also excites windage noise. The noise, which can be large, can look just like an imbalance signal. The new machine uses gentle angular oscillation to excite the effects of imbalance. It excites little windage noise, and that little is out of phase with the signal so the two can be distinguished.
This paper presents the theory of both classes of machine and compares their windage errors. It then describes in detail the oscillating balancer that we have built, a portable machine sized for loads up to ten tons.
Aerodynamically smooth objects are best balanced on a spin balancer. But even though we don’t have enough experience with the new machine to assess its ultimate sensitivity, we have shown it to be vastly superior to a spin balancer in difficult cases. We used it to balance the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite, a very ungainly 5000-pound object, and the beautiful performance of ERBS in orbit shows that the dynamic imbalance is surely less than five kilogram meter squared. We expect to beat one kilogram-meter squared on the Combined Release and Radiation Effects Satellite.
Ball has applied for a patent on this new class of balancing machine.


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