Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy

, Volume 107, Issue 1, pp 169–185

Innovative methods of correlation and orbit determination for space debris


    • Department of MathematicsUniversity of Pisa
  • Giacomo Tommei
    • Department of MathematicsUniversity of Pisa
  • Andrea Milani
    • Department of MathematicsUniversity of Pisa
  • Alessandro Rossi
    • ISTI/CNR
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10569-010-9274-6

Cite this article as:
Farnocchia, D., Tommei, G., Milani, A. et al. Celest Mech Dyn Astr (2010) 107: 169. doi:10.1007/s10569-010-9274-6


We propose two algorithms to provide a full preliminary orbit of an Earth-orbiting object with a number of observations lower than the classical methods, such as those by Laplace and Gauss. The first one is the Virtual debris algorithm, based upon the admissible region, that is the set of the unknown quantities corresponding to possible orbits for a given observation for objects in Earth orbit (as opposed to both interplanetary orbits and ballistic ones). A similar method has already been successfully used in recent years for the asteroidal case. The second algorithm uses the integrals of the geocentric 2-body motion, which must have the same values at the times of the different observations for a common orbit to exist. We also discuss how to account for the perturbations of the 2-body motion, e.g., the J2 effect.


Space debrisOrbit determinationAdmissible regionKeplerian integralsVirtual debris algorithmRadar attributableLinkage

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010