Rarefied-flow pitching moment coefficient measurements of the Shuttle OrbiterAn overview of the process for obtaining the Shuttle Orbiter rarefied-flow pitching moment from flight gyro data is presented. The extraction technique involves differentiation of the output of the pitch gyro after accounting for nonaerodynamic torques, such as those produced by gravity gradient and the Orbiter's auxiliary power unit and adjusting for drift biases. The overview of the extraction technique includes examples of results from each of the steps involved in the process, using the STS-32 mission as a typical sample case. The total pitching moment and moment coefficient (Cm) for that flight are calculated and compared with preflight predictions. The flight results show the anticipated decrease in Cm with increasing altitude. However, the total moment coefficient is less than predicted using preflight estimates.
Blanchard, R. C. (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Hinson, E. W. (ST Systems Corp. Hampton, VA, United States)