Designing a Space Station: Calculate Rotational Motion

In summary, while listening to your professor drone on, you dream about becoming an engineer helping to design a new space station to be built in deep space far from any planetary systems. This state-of-the-(future) art station is powered by a small amount of neutron star matter which has a density of 2 x 10^14 g/cm^3. The station will be a large light-weight wheel rotating about its center which contains the power generator. A control room is a tube which goes all the way around the wheel and is 10 meters from its center. The living space and laboratories are located at the outside rim of the wheel and are another tube which goes all the way around it at a distance of 200 meters from the
  • #1
PascalPanther
23
0
"While listening to your professor drone on, you dream about becoming an engineer helping to design a new space station to be built in deep space far from any planetary systems. This state-of-the-(future) art station is powered by a small amount of neutron star matter which has a density of 2 x 10^14 g/cm^3. The station will be a large light-weight wheel rotating about its center which contains the power generator. A control room is a tube which goes all the way around the wheel and is 10 meters from its center. The living space and laboratories are located at the outside rim of the wheel and are another tube which goes all the way around it at a distance of 200 meters from the center. To keep the environment as normal as possible, people in the outer rim should experience the same “weight” as they had on Earth. That is if they were standing on a bathroom scale, it would read the same as if they were on Earth. This is accomplished by a combination of the rotation of the station and the gravitational attraction of the neutron star matter in the power generator. Calculate the necessary rate of rotation to accomplish this task.
This question really has me stumped. Am I right to just ignore the fact that there is an inner control room ring?

This is what I think I will need:
We haven't gotten to inertia yet, but I think this is an inertia problem.
I = MR^2 (if I take out the inner ring and say it is a thin-walled hollow cylinder).
K = (1/2)*I*(omega)^2

I am not sure what I am suppose to do with the density of the core without a volume or mass. I am also not quite sure where I would bring in value of Earth's gravity to solve with. Am I missing something to be able to start this?
 
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  • #2
It does seem that they forgot to tell you how much neutron star matter is at the center. Assuming you can get that info, figure out the net force on a mass that is moving with the outer ring. (Hint: What kind of acceleration does that mass undergo?)
 
  • #3
Well, it looks like there is an alternative version of this problem with everything the same except it asks you to find out the rate of rotation and the mass of the generator. So there must be a way somehow to find the mass. Or this problem is just really weird. :bugeye:

But it would be centripetal acceleration right? a_rad = v^2/r = (omega)^2 *r
So omega would be my rate of rotation... if there was no mass at the center? Wouldn't a mass that is on the outside ring just equal it's weight?
 
  • #4
I strongly suspect that essential information is missing from the problem statement. Why were you told:
"A control room is a tube which goes all the way around the wheel and is 10 meters from its center."​
since that control room is never mentioned again?
 

Related to Designing a Space Station: Calculate Rotational Motion

1. What is rotational motion and why is it important in designing a space station?

Rotational motion refers to the movement of an object around an axis or center point. In designing a space station, rotational motion is important because it helps to create artificial gravity, which is necessary for the health and comfort of astronauts. It also helps to maintain the stability and orientation of the space station.

2. How is rotational motion calculated in designing a space station?

Rotational motion in a space station is calculated using the principles of rotational dynamics, which take into account the mass, velocity, and distance from the center of rotation of objects within the space station. It also involves considering the effects of external forces, such as thrusters and solar winds, on the rotational motion of the space station.

3. What factors influence the rotational motion of a space station?

Several factors can influence the rotational motion of a space station, including the distribution of mass within the station, the speed and direction of external forces, and the shape and size of the station. The location and positioning of thrusters and other propulsion systems also play a role in controlling the rotational motion of the space station.

4. How do scientists ensure the safety of astronauts when designing the rotational motion of a space station?

Safety is a top priority in designing the rotational motion of a space station. Scientists use advanced computer simulations and mathematical models to predict and test different rotational motion scenarios before the construction of the space station. They also continuously monitor and adjust the rotational motion of the station during its operation to ensure the safety and well-being of astronauts.

5. Are there any potential challenges in designing the rotational motion of a space station?

Designing the rotational motion of a space station can be challenging due to the need to balance artificial gravity with the forces of external factors such as solar wind and micrometeoroids. It also requires precise calculations and control to prevent unintended rotations that could harm the astronauts or damage the station. Additionally, the long-term effects of rotational motion on human health are still being studied and must be taken into consideration.

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