Drone Aeroplane distance changing at an instant

• Apr 24th 2012, 11:18 AM
titansfreak93
Drone Aeroplane distance changing at an instant
A drone aeroplane is flying horizontally at a constant height of 4000 ft above a fixed radar tracking station. At a certain instant the angle of elevation theta is 30 degrees and is decreasing, and the speed of the drone aeroplane is 300 mi/h. How fast is the distance between the aeroplane and the radar station changing at this instant? Express the rate in units of ft/s. Use 1 mi=5280 ft
• Apr 24th 2012, 02:31 PM
skeeter
Re: Drone Aeroplane distance changing at an instant
Quote:

Originally Posted by titansfreak93
A drone aeroplane is flying horizontally at a constant height of 4000 ft above a fixed radar tracking station. At a certain instant the angle of elevation theta is 30 degrees and is decreasing, and the speed of the drone aeroplane is 300 mi/h. How fast is the distance between the aeroplane and the radar station changing at this instant? Express the rate in units of ft/s. Use 1 mi=5280 ft

sketch a diagram?

let $z$ = straight-line distance between radar site and drone

let $x$ = horizontal distance between radar site and drone

let $h$ = plane's altitude (note that the altitude is in feet)

note when $\theta = 30^\circ$ , $z = 2h$ and $x = h\sqrt{3}$

$\frac{dx}{dt} = 300 \, mph$

$x^2 + h^2 = z^2$

take the time derivative of the above equation, substitute in your known (and calculated) values, and determine $\frac{dz}{dt}$

pay attention to units