2387. Booster Alignment for an Aerial Vehicle Ground Launch


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A McGgill: 2387. Booster Alignment for an Aerial Vehicle Ground Launch. 1997.



The successful ground launch of an aerial vehicle depends on proper booster alignment. A misalignment causes an undesirable rotation during the boost phase of flight and causes a crash. Mass properties engineering provides component weights and centers of gravity that are required to determine the booster alignment angle. Align the booster rocket to balance the thrusting forces about the center of gravity of the combined vehicle and rocket. Note, however, that the combined center of gravity is a function of this booster alignment. This paper derives the theoretical solution for determining the correct booster alignment angle. The solution to the test case for an inert vehicle is linear and a function of the aircraft configuration. The solution for a real aircraft is a second order polynomial solved by a quadratic equation. Discussion of practical considerations follows the derivation of the theoretical solution. Booster gimballing or thrust vectoring control would provide more flexibility to the problem of booster alignment.


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