Optimizing a Slingatron Launcher Using MATLAB
Final rept. Aug 2000-Jan 2001
ARMY RESEARCH LAB ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD
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A slingatron is the name given to a propellantless mechanical means of launching a projectile. To date, slingatrons are only conceptual in nature, but their potential use as a ground-to-space launch mechanism for umnanned payloads is under investigation. Slingatrons can be configured in a variety of geometries one form consists of a spiral track or launch tube that gyrates at a constant frequency about a set radius. Under proper conditions design parameters, a projectile entering the spiral at its small radius end will undergo nearly constant tangential acceleration before exiting. The differential equations governing the motion of the projectile with the spiral are highly nonlinear, making the optimum design solution nonintuitive. This report describes how the slingatron works, from first principles, then uses the numerical integration procedures within the computer software environment of Simulink and MATLAB to search for and identify the optimum design solution parameters based on structural dynamics and mechanical design considerations.
- Computer Programming and Software
- Guided Missile Launching and Basing Support
- Ammunition and Explosives