9–13 January 2017
Gaylord Texan, Grapevine, Texas

Six Degrees of Freedom Modeling of Missile and Aircraft Simulations

Saturday, 7-Sunday, 8 January 2017, 0800-1700 hrs
Gaylord Texan


High fidelity simulations are essential for any aerospace vehicle development. This two-day course takes you into the inner workings of 6 DoF modeling—from aerodynamics and propulsion, to guidance and control. You will have the option to follow me on your laptop, as I build step by step simulations for an air-to-air missile and an F16 type aircraft in C++ (Windows OS and MS Visual C++). Everything you need to build your own 6 DoF will be provided.

Who Should Attend

Engineers tasked to employ, modify or develop detailed aerospace vehicle simulations and to conduct performance evaluations. Some familiarity with vehicle dynamics and control is assumed, but no prior knowledge of simulations is required.

What You Will Learn

  • Introduction to modeling with tensors
  • Kinematics and dynamics of 6 DoF aerospace vehicles
  • Integration of aircraft and missile subsystems: Aerodynamics, propulsion, actuators, autopilots, guidance, seekers and navigation
  • Demonstration of aircraft and missile 6DoF simulations in C++
  • Instructions for building your own 6 DoF simulations

Detailed Outline

Concepts in Modeling with Tensors
  • Definitions, the M&S pyramid
Matrices, Vectors, and Tensors
  • Invariant modeling with tensors
  • Definition of frames and coordinate systems
Coordinate Systems
  • Heliocentric, inertial, geographic coordinate systems
  • Body, wind, flight path coordinate systems
Kinematics of Flight Mechanics
  • Rotational time derivative
  • Euler transformation
Equations of Motion of Aircraft and Missiles
  • Newton’s translational equations
  • Euler’s attitude equations
Aerodynamics of Aircraft and Missiles
  • Aircraft aerodynamics in body coordinates
  • Missile aerodynamics in aeroballistic coordinates
  • Rocket, turbojet and combined cycle propulsion
Autopilots for Aircraft and Missiles
  • Roll and heading autopilots
  • Attitude autopilots
  • Acceleration autopilots
Seekers for Missiles
  • Radar and IR sensors
Guidance and Navigation
  • Line guidance, proportional navigation
  • Optimal guidance laws
Full-up Aircraft Simulation in C++
Full-up Missile Simulation in C++

Course Instructor

Dr. Peter Zipfel, an Adjunct Associated Professor at the University of Florida, has taught courses in flight dynamics, guidance & control, modeling & simulation. His 45 years of experience were with the German Helicopter Institute, the U.S. Army and Airforce. He is an AIAA Associate Fellow and distinguished international lecturer.

Course Materials

Course notes will be made available about one week prior to the course event. Course registrants will receive an email with detailed instructions on how to access your course notes. Since these notes will not be distributed on site, AIAA and your course instructor highly recommend that you bring your computer with the course notes already downloaded. All computer applications will be demonstrated by the instructor and may be duplicated by the participants if they have a C++ compiler. Modeling and Simulation of Aerospace Vehicle Dynamics, Third Edition, Peter Zipfel, AIAA, is a useful supplement but not required.

Course Registration

Course Registration includes full conference participation. For registration information and to register for the course, here.


Please contact Megan Scheidt if you have questions about the course.

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