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Faculty Mentor

Shanzhong (Shawn) Duan

Abstract

This study analyzed the motion of the Space Shuttle free floating in space after one of its bay doors is opened and closed. Kane's method and Autolev motion simulation software were used to carry out simulation and analysis. The Space Shuttle has two large bay doors that open simultaneously, but for our study we analyzed a hypothetical situation, in which only one door functioned properly, in order to achieve amplified results. To model this system we used a rigid body to resemble the Shuttle and an attached rotating flap to resemble the door. Since the Shuttle is free floating in space with no external forces, the rigid body has six degrees of freedom. The rotating flap has one degree of freedom, therefore giving the system a total of seven degrees of freedom. Through the use of Autolev dynamic analysis software, we were able to program the system to output codes compatible with Matlab in order to graph the motion of the multibody system.

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