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Published July 1952 | Reprint
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Automatic navigation of a long range rocket vehicle


The flight of a rocket vehicle in the equatorial plane of a rotating earth is considered with possible disturbances in the atmosphere due to changes in density, in temperature, and in wind speed. These atmospheric disturbances together with possible deviations in weight and in moment of inertia of the vehicle tend to change the flight path away from the normal flight path. The paper gives the condition for the proper cut-off time for the rocket power, and the proper corrections in the elevator angle so that the vehicle will land at the chosen destination in spite of such disturbances. A scheme of tracking and automatic navigation involving a high-speed computer and elevator servo is suggested for this purpose.

Additional Information

(Reprinted from Journal of the American Rocket Society, July-August, 1952) Copyright, 1952, by the American Rocket Society, Inc., and reprinted by permission of copyright owner. Received April 28, 1952. The computations involved in this paper were carried out by R. C. Evans, Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Jet Propulsion Fellow, and F. W. Hartwig, Captain U.S.A.F., in addition to the junior authors.

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August 19, 2023
October 19, 2023