Resonant Collapse

  • P. F. Linden
  • R. Manasseh
Part of the International Centre for Mechanical Sciences book series (CISM, volume 329)


When a container full of liquid spins about an unconstrained axis of rotation, the fluid motion within the container may cause an instability. It is observed Pocha [1] that for a cylinder rotating about its symmetry axis, the axis may begin to nutate with the nutation angle growing exponentially in time. Instabilities of this type have serious implications for modern satellites which have fuel tanks filled with liquid fuel. These satellites are often spin stabilized, and spin about their axis of least moment of inertia. Wobble in the spin axis can cause the satellite to point in the wrong direction (or worse to become completely unstable).


Resonant Frequency Fuel Tank Collapse Time Inertia Wave Thymol Blue 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. F. Linden
    • 1
  • R. Manasseh
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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