Impulse - Gimbaled Model Rocket Simulator
Thrust vectoring is the ability of an aircraft, rocket, or other vehicle to manipulate the direction of the thrust from its motor in order to control the attitude (angle) of the vehicle. It is used in rocketry it is the primary means of attitude control, as aerodynamic control surfaces are ineffective outside the atmosphere.
A rocket is a complex system and the impact of every variable must be known prior to the design process. The usage of a simulation software that computes the kinematics of the system solves this issue by allowing us to visualize these impacts, and tweak the variables to optimize the flight performances.
Impulse is a open-source and cross-platform simulator for gimbaled thrust rockets:
- It accurately simulates the physics and outputs real-time data;
- The simulated rocket is fully configurable;
- To visualize the kinetics of the rockets, there are several graphs (for linear and angular acceleration, speed and position) and a 3D view;
- A rocket controller board can be connected through a serial link.
The last point is a very useful feature of Impulse: it means that it is capable of testing the control algorithm on the rocket hardware.