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ME 6590 Multibody Dynamics

Accelerations Using Relative Coordinates

Velocities
Consider again the two-body system
shown. In previous notes, we found that
the inertial components of R vG2 the
velocity of G2 in the inertial frame R may
be written as

vG s1 q2 s2 r2 B CB s2 r2 CB B

(1)

vG s1 CB q2 s2 B CB r2 CB / B B
CB s2 CB r2 B

(2)

or

The first equation is written in terms of the inertial components of R B1 and the B1 bodyfixed components of

B , and the second is written in terms of the body-fixed

B1

components of B1 and B2 .
R

B1

Accelerations
Case 1: Angular Velocity Components as Generalized Speeds
If we define the generalized speeds to be the elements of s1 , s2 , B1 , and B2 ,
then we can write

v v
G2

s1 vG2 ,B B1 vG2 ,s2 s2 vG2 , B B2

1
2

G2 ,s1

(3)

where

vG , q2 s2 r2
2 B1
vG2 ,s2 CB1
vG , r2 CB
1
2 B2
and where vG2 ,s1 is a 3 3 identity matrix. The inertial components of the acceleration
of G2 can then be written as
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a v
G2

s1 vG2 ,B B1 vG2 ,B B1

1
1
vG2 ,s2 s2 vG2 ,s2 s2 vG2 , B B2 vG2 , B B2

2
2
G2 , s1

(4)

The time derivative of vG2 ,s2 may be calculated as follows:

vG2 ,s2 CB1 B1 CB1

(5)

vG , q2 s2 r2

2 B1

(6)

where the elements of q2 , s2 , and r2 are calculated by noting

d
dt
d
s2
dt
d
r2
dt

q2

C
C
C

B1

B1

B2

s C
r C

q2 CB1 q2 B1 CB1 q2

(7)

B1

(8)

B2

r2 B2 CB2 r2

(9)

The time derivative of vG2 , B is calculated as follows:

vG , r2 CB r2 CB r2 CB r2 B CB
1
1
1
1 1
2 B2

(10)

The elements of r2 are calculated in Eq. (9) above.

Case 2: Orientation Angle Derivatives as Generalized Speeds
If we define the generalized speeds to be the elements of s1 , s2 , B1 , and B2 ,
then we can rewrite Eq. (1) as follows:

v s q s r C s r C
s q s r C s r

s v
v s v v

G2

B1

B1 ,

G2 ,s1

G2 ,

B1

B1

B1

B1

B1

G2 ,s2

B1

B1

G2 ,

B2

B2

B2 ,

B2

B2

(11)

B2

where
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v
q s r

2
2
2
G2 ,B1
B1 ,B1
vG2 ,s2 CB1

v
r

2
G2 ,B2
B2 ,B2
and where vG2 ,s1 is a 3 3 identity matrix. The partial angular velocity matrices are
defined in previous notes for a 1-2-3 rotation sequence.
The inertial components of the acceleration of G2 can then be written as

a v
G2

s1 vG , B1 vG , B1 vG2 ,s2 s2 vG2 ,s2 s2

2 B1
2 B1
vG , B2 vG , B2
2 B2
2 B2
G2 ,s1

(12)

where

v
q s r

2 2 2 B1 ,B1 q2 s2 r2 B1 ,B1
G2 ,B1
vG2 ,s2 CB1 B1 CB1
v
r

2 B2 ,B2 r2 B2 ,B2
G2 ,B2
Note: Similar expressions could be derived from Eq. (2) when using body-fixed angular
velocity components.

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