Understanding Body-Fixed Sensor Output From Projectile Flight Experiments

Report No. ARL-TR-3029
Authors: Thomas E. Harkins
Date/Pages: September 2003; 34 pages
Abstract: Accurate measurement of in-flight kinematics significantly contributes to the development of experimental projectiles and rockets and to diagnostics for existing munitions and weapons systems. Ground-based instruments such as radar and cameras provide useful measurements but are often limited to portions of a trajectory and/or have limited resolution. On-board sensor systems fixed to a projectile body combined with a telemetry system can provide high resolution continuous data throughout a projectile?s entire trajectory. However, there is a twofold difficulty in correctly interpreting and employing data from body-fixed sensors. First, sensor responses many times are affected by stimuli other than those which a sensor is intended to quantify, e.g., an angular rate sensor may be affected by any g forces to which it is subjected. Second, sensor systems often, of necessity, make measurements in a body-fixed coordinate system, and the quantities whose values are desired are best described in another coordinate system. This report treats issues affecting the output of the body-fixed sensors used by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory's Weapons and Materials Research Directorate (Advanced Munitions Concepts Branch) in flight tests of military ordnance and provides the mathematics necessary to transform body-fixed measurements to earth-fixed parameters.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2003