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Research Papers

Flight Dynamics and Simulation of Laser Propelled Lightcraft

[+] Author and Article Information
Christopher G. Ballard

 NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA 91109christopher.g.ballard@jpl.nasa.gov

Kurt S. Anderson1

Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180anderk5@oceania.edu

Leik Myrabo

Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180myrabl@rpi.edu

1

Corresponding author.

J. Comput. Nonlinear Dynam 4(4), 041005 (Aug 24, 2009) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3187214 History: Received December 19, 2007; Revised September 03, 2008; Published August 24, 2009

A seven degree-of-freedom (7DOF) 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 launching of nanosatellites (110+kg). Accurate engine, beam, and aerodynamics models are included to improve the predictive capability of the 7DOF code. The aerodynamic forces of lift, drag, and aerodynamic pitching moment were derived from FLUENT ® computational fluid dynamics predictions, and calibrated against limited existing wind tunnel data. To facilitate 7DOF model validation, simulation results are compared with video analysis of actual flights under comparable conditions. Despite current limitations of the 7DOF model, the results compared well with experimental flight trajectory data.

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Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 10

x-y-t model comparison of No. 200-5/6 SAR lightcraft in solid ablative rocket mode (flight 7)

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Figure 9

Model comparison of No. 200-3/4SAR lightcraft in solid ablative rocket (SAR) mode (flight 16)

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Figure 8

Model comparison of No. 200-5/6 lightcraft in air-breathing PDE mode (flight 5)

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Figure 7

Characteristic vertical speed of No. 200-3/4 SAR lightcraft (simulation of flight 16)

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Figure 6

Lightcraft aerodynamic moment coefficient versus angle of attack

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Figure 5

Lightcraft aerodynamic lift coefficient versus angle of attack

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Figure 4

Lightcraft aerodynamic drag coefficient versus angle of attack

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Figure 3

Lightcraft aerodynamic loads diagram

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Figure 2

Generic craft rotor system

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Figure 1

Laser induced air plasma with type 100 lightcraft

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