How much is the ideal rocket equation affected by air drag?


by vjk2
Tags: affected, drag, equation, ideal, rocket
vjk2
vjk2 is offline
#1
Jan18-13, 02:38 PM
P: 74
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsiolko...ocket_equation

ideal rocket equation.

No fudge for atmospheric drag. how much is it a factor?
Phys.Org News Partner Science news on Phys.org
Going nuts? Turkey looks to pistachios to heat new eco-city
Space-tested fluid flow concept advances infectious disease diagnoses
SpaceX launches supplies to space station (Update)
Travis_King
Travis_King is offline
#2
Jan18-13, 03:30 PM
P: 763
that's why it's called the ideal rocket equation...Drag is a tremendous factor in real applications.
tfr000
tfr000 is offline
#3
Jan19-13, 02:03 PM
tfr000's Avatar
P: 116
Depends on:
size and shape of the rocket (obviously, bigger and flatter have more drag)
where in the atmosphere (higher up, thinner air, less drag)
how fast the rocket is moving (non-trivial function due to compressibility of the air)

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drag_(physics)

vjk2
vjk2 is offline
#4
Jan19-13, 02:27 PM
P: 74

How much is the ideal rocket equation affected by air drag?


Well, how to calculate?
mfb
mfb is offline
#5
Jan20-13, 03:35 AM
Mentor
P: 10,809
With a numerical simulation.
In addition to air drag, you have to consider gravity as well.
vjk2
vjk2 is offline
#6
Jan20-13, 03:54 AM
P: 74
Quote Quote by mfb View Post
With a numerical simulation.
In addition to air drag, you have to consider gravity as well.
er, actually the ideal rocket equation is entirely about gravity....
mfb
mfb is offline
#7
Jan20-13, 04:22 AM
Mentor
P: 10,809
There is no gravity in the ideal rocket equation.
There is a way to re-write the equation to get the gravitational acceleration on earth into it, but that is just a unit conversion. In a similar way, the distance to moon does not depend on the length of my monitor, but I can express it as multiple of that length if I like.
tfr000
tfr000 is offline
#8
Jan20-13, 07:09 AM
tfr000's Avatar
P: 116
[itex]\textbf F = \textbf F_{gravity} + \textbf F_{thrust} + \textbf F_{drag}[/itex]

Depends how complicated you want to get. For a full simulation, you have to start with the rotation of the Earth at the launch site, and use this as the rocket's initial motion. Gravity drops off slowly ([itex]{1\over r^{2}}[/itex]), thrust increases slightly as the atmospheric pressure is no longer "bottling it up", and drag peaks and falls off as the rocket reaches the speed of sound, which varies with air temperature.

You can simplify a lot of that - flat, non-rotating Earth, constant thrust, drag as some simple, approximate function - but there is still no simple equation to say, "after 30 seconds, the rocket has velocity v at altitude h." Rocket science...


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Rocket Motion in a drag force Advanced Physics Homework 3
Ideal rocket equation application help Advanced Physics Homework 0
Water Rocket-density,temp,drag General Physics 0
Calculating air drag for a massive rocket General Physics 6