Hi all, For the past few years, building model rockets has been a hobby of mine. I've designed a few of my own, and I'd like to be able to do stability, height, etc. calculations before actually building the rocket. My question: If you know the mass of the rocket, the magnitude of the force being applied it, and the force of drag as a function of velocity, how do you calculate the rocket's velocity at any time. There's a similar question here: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=48326 but that problem simplifies things by making drag a constant times v, instead the actual physical case of a constant times v squared. I seem to recall that you aren't allowed to apply a non-linear function to the dependent variable in a differential equation, so you can't just change the v in the formula given in that thread to a v^2. Even if I'm wrong here, I'm still not entirely sure how to continue from where the thread left off as my integration skills are a little rusty. Could someone please help? Thanks, LastOneStanding
THIS is the equation you are looking for. Its pretty easy to apply if you know the values to plug in... Going from that to speed/altitude, I'm pretty lazy when it comes to equation solving, so using f=ma (and a decreasing mass with time) and the drag equation, and throw it into an Excel spreadsheet using a numerical solving method. If you need help doing that, I can probably help you tonight.
Ok, I was bored, so I did the spreadsheet/graph. Its attached. I didn't check it thoroughly, but the graph looks right. I had to clip the data to make it small enough to upload - stretch it down to about 500 and you'll get a flight profile for just about the entire ascent (even after engine shutoff).
Hey, thanks so much russ! This is a huge help, I really appreciate this! I knew that was the equation for calculating the force of drag, it was just using that to calculate the velocity at any time that I couldn't figure out.