Modeling and control of a trailing wire antenna towed by and orbiting aircraft
Clifton, James M.
Titus, Harold A.
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A model of the dynamics of a long trailing-wire antenna towed behind an orbiting aircraft was developed and then an investigation was made of several candidate schemes to control the wire's steady-state shape and oscillations due to wind gradients. A computer simulation was developed using the classic vibrating chain with free/fixed boundary conditions superimposed upon the wire's steady-state shape and tension distribution. Several forms of restorative and dissipative forces were considered in the analysis. The validity of the superposition approach was demonstrated for a wide operating range. A control law was developed which modulated the towplane orbit radius and demonstrated a potential for a 50 percent or better reduction in all oscillations. A second scheme using a controllable drogue at the trailing end of the wire was investigated. The controllable drogue had a limited success in oscillation reduction, but was found useful in tailoring the steady state shape of the wire.Titus, Harold A.
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