# Centrifugal Effects During Rail Launch

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• GrndCtrl2MjrTom
In summary, the centrifugal force is the force that is required to keep the rocket on the rail. You can calculate it using the formula given on Wikipedia.
GrndCtrl2MjrTom
TL;DR Summary
Question about centrifugal effects on rocket during translation along a rail.
I’m writing a 3DOF sim for a rocket. I’m having a hard time visualizing centrifugal effects from the Earth's rotation on the rocket while it is moving along the rail (acceleration > 0).

I know that once it has left the rail I no longer need to account for it since it’s in the ECI frame and unconstrained with the earth. I’m just wondering how to deal with centrifugal effects during the rail launch since two of the body axes are still constrained.

I suppose I could rotate the centripetal ECEF components to the body coordinate frame and subtract out the roll component then I could rotate back to ECEF? Does this approach sound valid or am I missing something?

Delta2
If the rail is aligned in the west-east direction (I assume you would be sending the rocket on a west to east path to take advantage of the Earth's rotational speed), it is easy to work out the centripetal force required to keep it on the rail: ##F_c = \frac{mv^2}{R}## where v is the total speed of the rocket relative to the inertial frame of the centre of the Earth (ie. it includes the speed due to Earth rotation).

If there is a component of the rail that is in the north-south direction other than at the equator, you would have to take into account the Coriolis effect. The Coriolis effect (or force, if you are analysing it from the non-inertial rocket reference frame) arises if the rocket is moving in a direction other than parallel to the Earth's axis of rotation. This change results from the change in the rotational speed of the Earth surface/rail. The distance to the axis of rotation changes with change in latitude.

AM

GrndCtrl2MjrTom
You are absolutely correct, thank you. I am trying to write this for any arbitrary launch azimuth and launch site, its just hard to remember everything that is acting on the rocket while on the ground haha.

## 1. What is the purpose of centrifugal effects during rail launch?

The purpose of centrifugal effects during rail launch is to provide a force that helps propel the object being launched forward. This force is created by the rotation of the rail, which causes the object to experience an outward force in the direction of the launch.

## 2. How does centrifugal force affect the trajectory of the launched object?

Centrifugal force can affect the trajectory of the launched object by causing it to follow a curved path. This is because the outward force from the centrifugal effect acts perpendicular to the direction of motion, causing the object to deviate from a straight path.

## 3. What factors can influence the strength of centrifugal effects during rail launch?

The strength of centrifugal effects during rail launch can be influenced by several factors, including the rotational speed of the rail, the mass and shape of the launched object, and the distance between the object and the center of rotation.

## 4. Are there any potential dangers associated with centrifugal effects during rail launch?

Yes, there are potential dangers associated with centrifugal effects during rail launch. If the centrifugal force is too strong, it can cause the launched object to deviate from its intended trajectory and potentially collide with other objects or structures. Additionally, the high speeds involved in rail launch can also pose safety risks.

## 5. How do scientists account for centrifugal effects during rail launch in their experiments?

Scientists use mathematical equations and computer simulations to account for centrifugal effects during rail launch in their experiments. They also carefully control and measure the rotational speed of the rail and other factors that can affect the strength of the centrifugal force, in order to accurately analyze the results of their experiments.

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