Development of a tool for analyzing orbits around asteroids

Julian Niedling, David Gaylor, Marcus Hallmann, Roger Foerstner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In this paper orbit dynamics around asteroids are analyzed. Since asteroid orbital environments are some of the most highly perturbed environments in the solar system, it is of particular interest to demonstrate the effects of gravitational perturbations, solar radiation pressure (SRP) and solar gravity. In order to show and compare the importance of satellite and asteroid properties, the theory of asteroid dynamics is applied on both the relatively massive asteroid Eros and the relatively small asteroid Itokawa. Special orbits, such as terminator orbits and hovering, are analyzed through the example of both asteroids. The analyses are performed using a tool written in MATLAB, which allows to parametrically study orbits around asteroids. The tool is capable of analyzing stability of orbits around asteroids, designing terminator orbits and determining Δv, thrust magnitude and propellant for hovering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpaceflight Mechanics 2016
PublisherUnivelt Inc.
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9780877036333
StatePublished - 2016
Event26th AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting, 2016 - Napa, United States
Duration: Feb 14 2016Feb 18 2016


Other26th AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting, 2016
CountryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science

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    Niedling, J., Gaylor, D., Hallmann, M., & Foerstner, R. (2016). Development of a tool for analyzing orbits around asteroids. In Spaceflight Mechanics 2016 (Vol. 158, pp. 3535-3553). Univelt Inc..