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Archemedies Spiral

  1. Nov 28, 2012 #1
    Hi I'm working on a project where I need to develop a flight path to cover a circular area. I was thinking of having the plane follow an archenemies spiral. I found that the general equation in polar is r=a(theta)^1/n
    My question is if I have a specific distance I want each spiral to be from the last how do I input that into the equation.
    Also is there a Cartesian equation for the spiral?
    Edit: Also how does one calculate the arc length of the spiral?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 28, 2012 #2
    The equation for the Archimedes spiral is:
    R = a*theta
    Each turn is separated from the last (and the next) by a distance (measured radially) of
    d = a*(2*pi)
    There is no Cartesian Equation because it is not a single-valued function in cartesian space; there is no single value of x (or y) that can be associated with a given value of y (or x).

    P.S. Don't tell your archenemies. Make them figure it out for themselves.
  4. Nov 28, 2012 #3
    So if I have a radius that I need to search and a distance each successive turn should be from the last, then I can use the arc length equation s=0.5*a[theta*sqrt(1+theta^2)+ln(theta+sqrt(1+theta^2))].
    So I would plug in "a" equal to my distance/2*pi,
    Then theta would be how many turns I go around the circle, which I can find by adding up the incremental distances between the spirals until I reach the radius of the search area.

    Correct me if you see any flaws in my logic.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012
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