Total Impulse

Total impulse is an important parameter of a launch vehicle and is simply the integral of the force over time

\displaystyle I_t = \int^{t_b}_0 F(t) \, dt = \bar{F} \, t_b,

where t_b is the burn time and \bar{F} is the average force over t_b. The force from the rocket motor can vary substantially with time. Usually, a larger total impulse means a physically bigger rocket, but note that it does not mean a larger force or a longer burn time. Putting more fuel and oxidizer into a rocket means increasing the total impulse.

<< Previous pageContent – Next page >>

This article is part of a pre-course program used by NAROM in Fly a Rocket! and similar programs.