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19 August 2019 09:45

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Asked by: john smolley
Subject: rocket stability
Question: I was curious whether a gyro could be used passively to help maintain a rocket in a vertical direction whilst being buffeted about by wind shear, asymmetric exhaust, etc. Obviously gyros have long been used in missiles to actively stabilize their atttitude in space(using thrust vanes, moveable fins, gimbaled motors, etc)--just wondering if they could be of any assist in a high powered rocket that still has fins, and how would go about scaling the corrective forces provided. Thanks in advance for any help,
Date: 26 September 2005
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Answers (Ordered by Date)

Answer: Momentus - 27/09/2005 13:36:26
 Hi John,

Using a gyroscope inside a rocket to directly react yaw and pitch, would need two gyroscopes. As a heavy gyroscope is better than a light one for this purpose, you will have little left for payload.

Bullets are kept aligned by spin, imparted by rifling of the gun barrel. This is a better approach for a rocket and is indeed used, the vanes being angled to spin the whole thing.

Both approaches use the gyroscope couple to keep the projectile on a right line.

You might care to use a better configuration of the gyroscope; the body of the rocket could be a disc or a wheel, with the motor at the spindle. By rapidly spinning the disc before take off a gyroscope effect would be set up which would hold the disc super-stable

It has the additional bonus of looking like a flying saucer, try this link for the type of craft which is gyro stabilised.


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Answer: dave brown - 01/10/2005 04:37:45
 The only other use for a gyroscope, directly, is in air force ejection seats.
Which have now been replaced with booster rockets.

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