After two weeks of brain-melting fury, yours truly has successfully completed Recon I. Thanks for your patience….so, what was the point, you ask? Believe me when I saw this is the simplified, watered down answer, but I can now mathematically calculate the pre-impact velocity of two vehicles based on their entry/exit angles into/out of a collision. We were given a couple real life case studies to work on and were provided with some basic info that we’d otherwise have to figure out for ourselves in the real world (i.e. drag factor, weights of both axles and, in turn, each wheel, skid marks, etc).
We then had to figure out which cars made which marks and using transparency cut-outs of each vehicle, place them at maximum engagement (where the most damage is done), then subsequently figure out the next logical place for each vehicle to be on the road (this is all done to scale, by the way, on an 8 1/2″ X 11″ piece of paper). Whatever the next logical place is, you draw a line from that vehicle’s center of mass at it’s original position to it’s new position. Then, you figure out the angle change from one to the other. And so and so forth.
Based on, say, V-2’s exit and entry angle, I can calculate it’s pre-impact velocity (speed) and taking that, it’s a trigonometry wonderland to figure out the rest. Don’t get me started on what to do if either vehicle rotates….whole other kettle of fish…which I can do, by the by, but won’t bore you with the intricacies therein. My head still spins a bit just thinking about it.
At any rate, my patient friends, I will do my best to once again brighten your civilian lives with tales of awe and wonder from the seat of a Harley. Thanks again for being giving me some time off. I tried ever so hard to refrain from explaining the difference between Potential Energy and Kinetic Energy and how even though they’re different, they should still sum up to equal the same number of ftlbs. You’re welcome….
Oh yeah…a postscript…all the math bullshit I completed in the last two weeks can all be calculated damn near instantaneously by a computer program we were provided at the end of the course. Sure, we still have to come up with all the variables to insert into the equations…but the actual calculation bit? Total waste as it turns out. Stupid technology.