Modeling the Behavior of a Falling Object

It is often of interest to stabilize and reorient the attitude of falling objects. The approach of interest in this study was the utilization of aerodynamic control surfaces. However, the parameters of such a system were not well-documented. Therefore, a physical vehicle was created in order to capture the behavior of this type of system. The vehicle was modeled, fabricated, and programmed for data collection. Launch and retrieval apparatuses were fabricated for safety. Freefall data was collected for various initial conditions. The data was then processed into a common reference frame. A method of calculating the full inertia tensor of an object was developed for proper modeling. The resulting experimental data was processed for analysis and a preliminary dynamic model was created.