Course #AE4362

Est.imated Completion Time: 3 months


Review of the two-body problem. The effects of a third point mass and a distributed mass. Expansion of the disturbing potential in series of Legendre functions. Variation of parameter equations for osculating orbital elements. Perturbation and numerical solution techniques. Statistical orbit determination. Codes used by the military to maintain the catalog of artificial satellites and space debris.

Included in degrees & certificates

  • 299


  • SS3500

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the two-body problem in celestial mechanics and its mathematical representation.
  • Analyze the effects of perturbing forces, such as those caused by a third point mass or distributed mass, on the dynamics of orbital motion.
  • Apply techniques for expanding the disturbing potential in series of Legendre functions to model gravitational effects accurately.
  • Understand and utilize variation of parameter equations for osculating orbital elements to track and predict the motion of orbiting bodies.
  • Apply perturbation theory and numerical solution techniques to model and analyze orbital perturbations, such as those caused by gravitational interactions or atmospheric drag.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in statistical orbit determination methods to estimate orbital parameters and uncertainties based on observational data.
  • Gain familiarity with the codes and tools used by the military and space agencies for maintaining the catalog of artificial satellites and tracking space debris.
  • Apply theoretical knowledge and computational techniques to solve practical astrodynamics problems, such as orbit determination, trajectory optimization, and collision avoidance.
  • Analyze the limitations and challenges associated with orbit determination and prediction in real-world scenarios, including uncertainty propagation and error analysis.
  • Communicate effectively through written reports and presentations, conveying complex astrodynamics concepts and analysis results to technical and non-technical audiences
  • Offerings database access
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    Application Deadlines

    •  08 Jul 2024

      Fall Quarter applications due

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