
Product No.
99790 
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Determination of Satellite Orbits with Vector Calculus (UMAP)
Neil P. Sigmon

Application Areas: Astrophysics, Vector calculus 
Prerequisites: Knowledge of conic graphs and polar coordinates. 

 © 2003 by COMAP, Inc.  The UMAP Journal 24.1  26 pages 

The six orbital elements are used to classify the size, shape, and orientation of a satellite in orbit about the earth in space. Determining the orbital elements involve basic computations in threedimensional coordinate systems that are typically introduced in a third semester vector calculus course. The purpose of this module is to describe the orbital elements and their method of calculation. Maple V is used to perform the computations.
Table of Contents:
INTRODUCTION
BACKGROUND MATHEMATICS
Ellipses and Polar Coordinates
Graphs of Ellipses and Other Conic Forms with Maple
Canonical Units and the Gravitational Parameter
THE ORBITAL ELEMENTS
Preliminary Computations
List of the Orbital Elements
THE ORBITAL ELEMENTS WITH MAPLE
Computing the Orbital Elements
Comparison with NASA Values
Graphing the Orbital Elements with Maple
Plotting the Earth Orbit
CONCLUSION
APPENDIX: USERWRITTEN MAPLE PROCEDURES
Procedure orbelem
Procedure shuttle
Procedure intspacest
Procedure oplot
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
REFERENCES
ABOUT THE AUTHOR



