The Journal of the Astronautical Sciences

, Volume 63, Issue 3, pp 175–205 | Cite as

Computer Aided Ballistic Orbit Classification Around Small Bodies

  • Benjamin F. Villac
  • Rodney L. Anderson
  • Alex J. Pini


Orbital dynamics around small bodies are as varied as the shapes and dynamical states of these bodies. While various classes of orbits have been analyzed in detail, the global overview of relevant ballistic orbits at particular bodies is not easily computed or organized. Yet, correctly categorizing these orbits will ease their future use in the overall trajectory design process. This paper overviews methods that have been used to organize orbits, focusing on periodic orbits in particular, and introduces new methods based on clustering approaches.


Trajectory design Periodic orbits Clustering Data mining Asteroid missions 



This research has been sponsored by the AMMOS technology development task. A portion of the research presented in this paper has been carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.


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Copyright information

© American Astronautical Society 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin F. Villac
    • 1
  • Rodney L. Anderson
    • 2
  • Alex J. Pini
    • 3
  1. 1.Pr. Systems Engineer,, Inc.LanhamUSA
  2. 2.Technologist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA
  3. 3.Systems Engineer,, Inc.GreenbeltUSA

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