Spaceborne centrifugal relays for spacecraft propulsion

Malika Ouzidane, Clifford E. Singer, Lawrence A. Bergman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Centrifugal relays are moving rotors which progressively accelerate reaction mass to higher velocities. One important engineering problem consists of accurately tracking the position of the projectiles and rotors and guiding each projectile exactly onto the appropriate guide tracks on each rotor. The topics described in this paper are the system kinematics and dynamics and the computerized guidance system which will allow a projectile to approach a rotor with exact timing with respect to the rotor rotation period and with very small errors in lateral positions. Kinematics studies include analysis of rotor and projectile positions versus time and projectile/rotor interactions. Guidance studies include a detailed description of the tracking mechanism (interrupt of optical beams) and the aiming mechanism (electromagnetic focusing) including the design of electromagnetic deflection coils and the switching circuitry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-42
Number of pages8
JournalActa Astronautica
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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