Intercept a Moving Target:
Force and Acceleration
(a Newton's Law physics educational game)
Acceleration: This simulation allows you to move about a flat ( 2 dimensional, gravity free) space in a ion propelled imaginary space ship. Type in the ship orientation ( force direction) and thrust duration (time, s = .5*a *t^2), and then click ENTER button. This enters desired course and duration into space ship ion propulsion engine control computer. The computer uses the accelerometer sensor inputs to regulate thrust so as to maintain desired acceleration. Engine burn does not begin and Time does not change until an Engine Control Button is clicked. The STOP ENGINE button advances time by an amount specified (Thrust Duration as entered) at zero acceleration.
Start by moving along a single axis at slow speed and note how far you travel in an hour. Though .1 meters per second per second is less than 1/100 of a earth "g" it is still far greater than what ion propulsion engine spacecraft can achieve today, but even 1 meter per second squared may be obtained in the future. Trip starts at X, Y coordinate 0,0. Ignore the target message until you have traveled through of four quadrants of the cartesian coodinate system. Travel through all four quadrants clockwise and counter clockwise. Next, Click "Reset" and start playing the intercept target game. Try to get close to target without overshooting it.
Space Ship Engineering Control Panel
Note: Ship Orientation and Course are independent of each other.
Try this easy practice exercise before tracking target: Travel to X = 1000km + or - 1.0km and Y = 1000km +
or - 1.0 km and stop there ( slowing to a velocity less than 100 meters per second
constitutes a stop. Feel free to make your on rules.)