Analytical Solutions for a Spinning Rigid Body Subject to Time-Varying Body-Fixed Torques, Part I: Constant Axial Torque

[+] Author and Article Information
J. M. Longuski, P. Tsiotras

School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907

J. Appl. Mech 60(4), 970-975 (Dec 01, 1993) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2901010 History: Received April 10, 1992; Revised October 22, 1992; Online March 31, 2008


Analytic solutions are derived for the general attitude motion of a near-symmetric rigid body subject to time-varying torques in terms of certain integrals. A methodology is presented for evaluating these integrals in closed form. We consider the case of constant torque about the spin axis and of transverse torques expressed in terms of polynomial functions of time. For an axisymmetric body with constant axial torque, the resulting solutions of Euler’s equations of motion are exact. The analytic solutions for the Eulerian angles are approximate owing to a small angle assumption, but these apply to a wide variety of practical problems. The case when all three components of the external torque vector vary simultaneously with time is much more difficult and is treated in Part II.

Copyright © 1993 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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