A rolleron is a type of aileron used for rockets, placed at the trailing end of each fin, and used for passive stabilization against rotation. Inherent to the rolleron is a metal wheel with notches along the circumference. On one side, the notches protrude into the airflow. During flight, this will spin the wheels up to a substantial speed. The wheels then act as gyroscopes. Any tendency of the rocket to rotate along its major axis will be counteracted by the rollerons: the gyroscopic precession acts to move the rolleron in the opposite direction to the rotation.
Rollerons were first used in the AIM-9 Sidewinder missile.
- Rollerons explained, with photos of rollerons on a Sidewinder missile
- Rolleron explained by Henry Spencer and Steven Kasow in the newsgroup sci.space.tech