eCite Digital Repository

Vertical wind tunnel for prediction of rocket flight dynamics


Bryson, H and Sultrop, HP and Buchanan, G and Hann, C and Snowdon, M and Rao, A and Slee, A and Fanning, K and Wright, D and McVicar, J and Clark, B and Harris, G and Chen, XQ, Vertical wind tunnel for prediction of rocket flight dynamics, Aerospace, 3, (2) Article 10. ISSN 2226-4310 (2016) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 the Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.3390/aerospace3020010


A customized vertical wind tunnel has been built by the University of Canterbury Rocketry group (UC Rocketry). This wind tunnel has been critical for the success of UC Rocketry as it allows the optimization of avionics and control systems before flight. This paper outlines the construction of the wind tunnel and includes an analysis of flow quality including swirl. A minimal modelling methodology for roll dynamics is developed that can extrapolate wind tunnel behavior at low wind speeds to much higher velocities encountered during flight. The models were shown to capture the roll flight dynamics in two rocket launches with mean roll angle errors varying from 0.26° to 1.5° across the flight data. The identified model parameters showed consistent and predictable variations over both wind tunnel tests and flight, including canard–fin interaction behavior. These results demonstrate that the vertical wind tunnel is an important tool for the modelling and control of sounding rockets.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:rocketry, canard actuation, vertical wind tunnel, flow quality, minimal modelling, roll dynamics, PD control
Research Division:Engineering
Research Group:Aerospace engineering
Research Field:Flight dynamics
Objective Division:Transport
Objective Group:Aerospace transport
Objective Field:Aerospace transport not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:McVicar, J (Mr Jason McVicar)
ID Code:112002
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:Engineering
Deposited On:2016-10-19
Last Modified:2017-06-27
Downloads:211 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page