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The computer program MASPROP was developed to rapidly calculate the mass properties of complex rigid structural systems. This program's basic premise is that complex systems can be adequately described by a combination of basic elementary structural shapes. Thirteen widely used basic structural shapes are available in this program. They are as follows: Discrete Mass, Cylinder, Truncated Cone, Torus, Beam (arbitrary cross section), Circular Rod (arbitrary cross section), Spherical Segment, Sphere, Hemisphere, Parallelepiped, Swept Trapezoidal Panel, Symmetric Trapezoidal Panels, and a Curved Rectangular Panel. MASPROP provides a designer with a simple technique that requires minimal input to calculate the mass properties of a complex rigid structure and should be useful in any situation where one needs to calculate the center of gravity and moments of inertia of a complex structure.

Rigid body analysis is used to calculate mass properties. Mass properties are calculated about component axes that have been rotated to be parallel to the system coordinate axes. Then the system center of gravity is calculated and the mass properties are transferred to axes through the system center of gravity by using the parallel axis theorem. System weight, moments of inertia about the system origin, and the products of inertia about the system center of mass are calculated and printed. From the information about the system center of mass the principal axes of the system and the moments of inertia about them are calculated and printed.

The only input required is simple geometric data describing the size and location of each element and the respective material density or weight of each element.

This program was released by NASA through COSMIC as LAR-12454. The italicized text above is from the official NASA release.

PDAS home > Contents > Mass Properties
Public Domain Aeronautical Software (PDAS)