1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Moving a body into a circle of uniform motion

  1. Apr 4, 2012 #1
    I am trying to make a game where a drone approaches a ship, that may be moving, and then orbits it at a set distance. I know that if the drone is already moving in a circle of uniform motion then I use

    [itex]a = \frac{v^{r}}{r}[/itex]

    I then take that magnitude and an angle derived from atan2 with cos and sin to find the x and y components of the acceleration. That works fine.

    But how can I calculate the acceleration of the drone that is approaching the ship, still outside of the orbit radius that needs to move into an orbit. I have tried calculating a point for the drones to chase and just move towards that and it usually just ends up giving me some sort of slingshot. I really trying to stay away from giving the ship and drone mass, defining a G constant, and giving the drone thrusters. I just want a simple model to move from approaching the ship to orbiting the ship.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 4, 2012 #2
    Seems like you can utilize this approach:


    More generally, seems like your approach at distance r needs to match linear velocity with orbital velocity....equal speed to orbital speed and tangent at distance r....
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook