Accession Number : AD0276535

Title :   THE PRECESSION OF SPINNING BODIES DUE TO GRAVITATIONAL GRADIENT TORQUES

Corporate Author : RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CALIF

Personal Author(s) : GARBER,T.B.

Report Date : JUN 1962

Pagination or Media Count : 1

Abstract : The results are presented of an analytical investigation of the precessional motion of spinning bodies due to gravitational gradient torques. The motion of the center of mass of the body is restricted to circular or nearcircular orbits. However, the secular regression of the orbital plane due to the earth's oblateness is considered. In the analysis of the rotational motion of the body about its center of mass, it is assumed that the gravitational gradient torques are small perturbations. The unperturbed body is perfectly stabilized with respect to inertial space. Within this framework, solutions are obtained for the precessional motion of a body with an arbitrary mass distribution. It is concluded that for low spin rates of the order of 0.1 rad/sec, the change in body attitude due to the gravitational gradient torques alone might be as great as 17 degrees after a period of five days. For a gyroscopic instrument with a spin rate of 2000 rad/sec, an attitude error of 1 min. can develop after a period of 40 days. (Author)

Descriptors :   *CENTRIFUGAL FIELDS, *SPACE ENVIRONMENTS, *SPINNING(MOTION), GRAVITY, GYROSCOPES, SPACECRAFT, TORQUE

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE