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Proceedings Paper

Flight dynamics simulation of lightcraft propelled by laser ablation
Author(s): C. G. Ballard; K. S. Anderson; L. N. Myrabo
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Paper Abstract

A six degree-of-freedom (DOF) dynamic model was developed to provide insight into the flight behavior of Type 200 Lightcraft, and to serve as a research tool for developing future engine-vehicle configurations for laser launching of nano-satellites (1-10 kg). Accurate engine, beam, and aerodynamics models are included to improve the predictive capability of the 6-DOF 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 6-DOF model validation, simulation results are compared with video analysis of flights under comparable conditions. Despite current limitations of the 6-DOF model, the results compared well with experimental flight trajectory data.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 June 2006
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6261, High-Power Laser Ablation VI, 62611Z (7 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.669163
Show Author Affiliations
C. G. Ballard, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (United States)
K. S. Anderson, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (United States)
L. N. Myrabo, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6261:
High-Power Laser Ablation VI
Claude R. Phipps, Editor(s)

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