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Engineering - Mechanical Engineering | Handbook of Satellite Orbits - From Kepler to GPS

Handbook of Satellite Orbits

From Kepler to GPS

Capderou, Michel

2014, XXIV, 922 p. 369 illus., 292 illus. in color.

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  • Offers a complete and clear presentation of satellite motion, from fundamental equations to applications
  • Based on the original IXION software, created by the author, which is being used for space missions and educational purposes at universities
  • Presents topics that are not often found in other works, such as an original study of sampling, the study of artificial satellites around Mars, Venus, the Moon, etc

Fifty years after Sputnik, artificial satellites have become indispensable monitors in many areas, such as economics, meteorology, telecommunications, navigation and remote sensing. The specific orbits are important for the proper functioning of the satellites. This book discusses the great variety of satellite orbits, both in shape (circular to highly elliptical) and properties (geostationary, Sun-synchronous, etc.). This volume starts with an introduction into geodesy. This is followed by a presentation of the fundamental equations of mechanics to explain and demonstrate the properties for all types of orbits. Numerous examples are included, obtained through IXION software developed by the author. The book also includes an exposition of the historical background that is necessary to help the reader understand the main stages of scientific thought from Kepler to GPS.


This book is intended for researchers, teachers and students working in the field of satellite technology. Engineers, geographers and all those involved in space exploration will find this information valuable.

Michel Capderou’s book is an essential treatise in orbital mechanics for all students, lecturers and practitioners in this field, as well as other aerospace systems engineers.

—Charles Elachi, Director, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Ground Tracking Satellites - IXION Software Application - Planetary Satellite Orbits - Satellite Motion Handbook - Satellite Orbit Missions - Satellite Orbitography - Sun-synchronous Satellites - Temporal and Angular Sampling

Related subjects » Extraterrestrial Physics, Space Sciences - Geophysics & Geodesy - Mechanical Engineering

Table of contents 

Geometry of the Ellipse.- Geodesy.- Geopotential.- Keplerian Motion.- Satellite in Keplerian Orbit.- Satellite in Real (Perturbed) Orbit.- Motion of Orbit, Earth and Sun.- Ground Track of a Satellite.- Orbit and Mission.- Orbit Relative to the Sun: Crossing Times and Eclipse.- Orbit Relative to the Earth: Recurrence and Altitude.- View from the Satellite.- Spatiotemporal and Angular Sampling.- Global Positioning (GPS).- Satellites of Mars.- Satellites of Other Celestial Bodies.

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