402-External Ballistics Primer for Engineers - Part I: Aerodynamics & Projectile Motion
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This course was written to introduce engineers of any discipline to the basics of external ballistics. The engineer will gain a general understanding of many of the factors, effects and forces which affect the flight path of a projectile in unpowered flight.
This is a Spotlight Course of the Week (Expires: 6/25/2021)
The intriguing subject of this primer explores the characteristics of the unpowered portion of flight of a projectile on a ballistic trajectory, or external ballistics. It was created for the broad range of engineers who have an interest in learning the basics of external ballistics. In order to accurately describe the factors, which affect the trajectory of an object on a ballistic flight path and the path itself, an engineer will rely on rigorous calculations, computer simulations and experimental data. For the purposes of this primer, gun related pun intended, we only resort to a conceptual understanding of the mechanics, augmented by the use of simplified equations including mentions of some of the governing equations with focuses on some specialized cases. The focus areas are kept concise so that tangential topics such as orbital mechanics are generally not treated. The course has been broken into two parts. Part I targets the aerodynamic characteristics of general projectiles in flight and relevant factors which affect its flight path. In Part II we dive into the use of associated measurement hardware an engineer or ballistician might use to characterize flight paths and conclude with a spotlight on the physics of the ballistic pendulum.
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