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Spinning Symmetric Missiles in a Nonlinear Aerodynamic Field


Mantle, Peter John (1964) Spinning Symmetric Missiles in a Nonlinear Aerodynamic Field. Engineer's thesis, California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/YXWV-VV41.


The case of a spinning symmetric body flying at a constant speed where the aerodynamic restoring moment is an arbitrary function of the angle of attack is examined. The analysis is twofold: first, the general problem is discussed, in suitable nondimensional form, to establish the generalized stability boundaries and, second, the attention is directed to the inverse problem whereby the pertinent aerodynamic parameters are extracted from a given bounded solution, suitable for use in data reduction. The general case of non-planar motion is examined and shown to be analogous to the classical orbital problems, differing only in the form of the governing potential function. The general solution is obtained in integral form and the special cases of linear aerodynamics and cubic restoring moments have been integrated and studied to reveal all the pertinent characteristics. The various combinations of potential, initial conditions and angular momentum (including that due to the impressed spin rate) are shown to determine whether or not the motion is planar, circular, elliptic or non-conic; stable or unstable and the various cases are categorized to aid the prediction of the motion of spinning symmetrical bodies acting under non-linear aerodynamic restoring moments.

Item Type:Thesis (Engineer's thesis)
Subject Keywords:(Aeronautical Engineering)
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Stewart, Homer Joseph
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 March 1964
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-10012002-102742
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:3847
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:02 Oct 2002
Last Modified:19 Jan 2024 23:05

Thesis Files

PDF (Mantle_pj_1969.pdf) - Final Version
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