Saturday, July 15, 2006

Rocket Calculator

Some of you may remember my beginning a program sometime last semester that would size rocket stages for a multi-stage rocket. Well, I start a lot of programs, I don't often finish one. And it's never really done anyways, it's always "in progress".

This is a program that takes information about rocket stages (payload mass, inert mass, isp), then calculates the distribution of Isp between them that results in the lowest overall rocket mass. Debugging this program should have been simple, but it's never simple. When I write programs a certain way, it takes me 10 times as long to debug them as it does to write them.

Here is the source code. Compile it as a console/command line executable, and enjoy.
Rocket Calculator

In addition, I've noticed that having a handy unit converter is also useful when working on aerospace problems. We invented the airplane, and pushed the boundaries of space exploration, and now you're stuck with our crazy unit system. HA! Anyway, I haven't tested this completely, so don't use it to guide any mars spacecraft or anything without checking first. Just input the number of units in the input column and read across.
Unit Converter.xls

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