I am looking at entry dynamics for a convex blunt aeroshell. We use Heading angle, bank angle and flight path angle for description of attitude from local horizon axes system. While it is sufficiently clear from vectorial definition what these angles are, it is difficult to describe them while explaining it in person. More so, in describing angle of attack and bank angle.

Is there a good way to visualize these angles when thinking of an axisymmetric aeroshell? It has proven difficult for me to explain these, especially to fellow aerospace engineering professionals from aeronautics side (almost all around me), who are corrupted by clear visualisation w.r.t forward direction and wing orientation.

How to paint a complete picture of an aero-assist scenario that describes wind frame angles, angle of attack and lift and drag vectors on an a convention aeroshell in a fairly intuitive manner?

  • $\begingroup$ Since your aeroshell is axisymmetric, wouldn't bank angle be irrelevant? $\endgroup$ – Dan Pichelman Dec 29 '17 at 18:24
  • $\begingroup$ NASA developed animations in the early '80s for this reason, not just to sell projects to the public, but to develop a common language within scientific community. Re-entry testing with shock tubes (fire the model from one side and pressurized air from the other) gave different sorts of wobble and other behavior would occur. ASA 10,000 film could only catch snippets overall they'd get a notion of what it was doing but lingo was among experimenters. Point is, perhaps start with an animation (which is easy now) and ask how to describe it? It would give this question some needed data. $\endgroup$ – Hebekiah Dec 29 '17 at 18:46
  • $\begingroup$ (yes, I know there were earlier animations and shock tube testing was done by the '80s but point is creating them directly from calculations with computers, that was new, the direct ability to model) $\endgroup$ – Hebekiah Dec 29 '17 at 18:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Dan Pichelman the c.g. can be off center which allows manuevering and also the bank angle definition. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Dec 30 '17 at 0:20
  • $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble That makes sense. Thanks. $\endgroup$ – Dan Pichelman Dec 30 '17 at 0:56

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