Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy

, Volume 106, Issue 2, pp 157–182

Circular and zero-inclination solutions for optical observations of Earth-orbiting objects

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10569-009-9245-y

Cite this article as:
Fujimoto, K., Maruskin, J.M. & Scheeres, D.J. Celest Mech Dyn Astr (2010) 106: 157. doi:10.1007/s10569-009-9245-y


Situational awareness of Earth-orbiting particles is important for human extraterrestrial activities. Given an optical observation, an admissible region can be defined over the topocentric range/range-rate space, with each point representing a possible orbit for the object. However, based on our understanding of Earth orbiting objects, we expect that certain orbits in that distribution, such as circular or zero-inclination orbits, would be more likely than others. In this research, we present an analytical approach for describing the existence of such special orbits for a given observation pass, and investigate topological features of the range/range-rate space by means of singularities in orbital elements.


Situational awareness Orbit determination Space debris Admissible region 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Aerospace Engineering SciencesThe University of Colorado-BoulderBoulderUSA
  2. 2.Department of MathematicsThe San José State UniversitySan JoséUSA

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