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ME 6590 Multibody Dynamics

Angular Velocity & Partial Angular Velocity Using Absolute Coordinates


Angular Velocity: 1-2-3 Rotation Sequence , ,
Given a rigid body B : e1, e2 , e3 moving in a fixed reference frame R : N1, N2 , N3 , we
define a set of intermediate reference frames R : N1, N2 , N3 and R : N1, N2, N3 as in
previous notes. The angular velocity of the body may then be written as

B RR RR RB 1N1 2 N2 3 N3

Using the definitions of the transformation matrices presented earlier, we can write

N C N
T
T
T
N C N C C N
T

The inertial components of N 2 are given by the second row of C or the second
T

column of C . The inertial components of N 3 are given by the third row of C C


or the third column of C C . Hence, we can express the inertial components of the
T

angular velocity vector in matrix-vector form as


S2 1
1 1 0


2 0 C1 S1C2 2
0 S
C1C2 3
1
3

"Inertial Components"

(1)

We can use the same approach to determine an equation for the body-fixed
components, or we can simply use the results presented in Appendix II of Kane, Likins,
and Levinson, Spacecraft Dynamics, McGraw-Hill, 1983. Using those results,
1 C2C3 S3 0 1


2 C2 S3 C3 0 2
S
0 1 3
3 2

"Body-Fixed Components"

(2)

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Partial Angular Velocities Using Angle Derivatives as Generalized Speeds


The partial angular velocities of B are the partial derivatives of R B with respect to
i (i 1,2,3) .
R B
N1
1

R B
N 2
2

R B
N3
3

These results can be conveniently expressed in inertial components or in body-fixed


components. Using inertial components, we have
1
R B

B ,1 0
1
0

0
R B

B , 2 C1
2
S
1

S2
R B

B ,3 S1C2
3
CC
1 2

or, we express the results in a single matrix equation as


S2
1 0
B , 0 C1 S1C2

0 S1 C1C2

"Inertial Components"

(3)

Using the same process, we can define the body-fixed components of the partial velocity
vectors as a single matrix as

C2C3 S3 0
B , C2 S3 C3 0

S2
0 1

"Body-Fixed Components"

(4)

Note: We can define different forms of the partial angular velocity matrices associated
with each of the different orientation angle sets.

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Partial Angular Velocities Using Angular Velocity Components as Generalized


Speeds
It is obvious from the presentation below that this choice of generalized speeds
simplifies the partial angular velocity matrices.
Inertial Components
If we use the inertial components of R B as the generalized speeds, then the partial
angular velocities are
R B
N1
1

R B
N2
2

R B
N3
3

and the partial angular velocity matrix is


1 0 0
B , 0 1 0

0 0 1

"Inertial Components"

(5)

Body-Fixed Components
If we use the body-fixed components of R B as the generalized speeds, then the partial
angular velocities are
R B
e1
1

R B
e2
2

R B
e3
3

and the partial angular velocity matrix is

1 0 0
B , 0 1 0

0 0 1

"Body-Fixed Components"

(6)

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Angular Velocity and Partial Angular Velocity Using Euler Parameters


If we use Euler parameters to describe the angular motion of a rigid body B, then from
previous notes, we can write the inertial and body-fixed components of the angular
velocity as

{} 2[ E ]{ }

"Inertial Components"

{ } 2[ E]{ }

"Body-Fixed Components"

Recall that in this case, {} and { } are 4 1 vectors. The first three elements of the
vectors are the components of R B and the last element is zero.
From these equations, we could define a set of partial angular velocities associated with
the Euler parameters. These are not particularly useful, however, because the Euler
parameters are not independent. In this case, it is natural to use the angular velocity
components as the generalized speeds as discussed above.

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