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# Conic sections

r
M
m
V
= Keplers constant = GM (m
3
s
-2
)

h = angular momentum = = constant

E = total energy = constant =

e = eccentricity =

2
r
-
u
r
V

2
2
1
( )
1
2
cos
1
2
2 2
+ =
|
|
.
|

\
|
=

Eh
r
h
r
a

r
p

semi minor
axis b
Semi major axis a
Solution
( )
( )
2
1
1 cos e
r h

u = +
1
Location of perigee (closest approach) can
be found from 1 by setting to zero:
( )
2
1
p
h
r
e
=
+
Location of apogee (furthest departure) can be
found from 1by setting to (note that r
a
only
has real values for e < 1, circles and ellipses)
( )
2
1
a
h
r
e
=

## Combining perigee and apogee give a useful

means of finding eccentricity:
( ) ( )
p a
p a
a p
r r
r r
e
e r e r h
+

=
= + = 1 1
2

Semi major axis, a =
( )
( )
2
2
1
2
1
p a
h
r r
e
+ =

## Semi minor axis, b =

( )
2
1
p a
r r a e =
family of solutions
The value of eccentricity determines the
category of orbit obtained
e 1gives captive orbits

e 1creates escape trajectories
e = 0
circular
e > 0 <1
elliptical
e =1 parabola
e > 1 hyperbola
Example 1: circular Earth orbit
e = 0, r = 6500 km
and 40,000 km

r h =
km at
s m
E
E
V
rV
000 , 40
/ 3158
6 40
11 26 . 1
10 * 26 . 1
11
= =
= =
km at
s m
E
V
rV
500 , 6
/ 7834
6 5 . 6
10 * 1 . 5
10 * 1 . 5
10
10
= =
= =
( ) ( )
2
1
1 cos e
r h

u = +
example 2: Connect with
elliptical transfer orbit
72 . 0
46500
6500 40000
=

=
+

=
p a
p a
r r
r r
e
( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
10
1 cos 1 1
3.88 14*6.5 6*1.72 6.59*10
p a
h r e r e r e
E E
u = + = + =
= =
s m
E r
h
V
s m
E r
h
V
r
h
V
p
p
a
a
/ 130 , 10
6 5 . 6
10 * 59 . 6
/ 650 , 1
6 40
10 * 59 . 6
10
10
= = =
= = =
=
s m
s m
s m
v
v
v
/ 3804
/ 1508 1650 3158
/ 2296 7834 10130
2
1
= A
= = A
= = A

## Fuel requirement for manouver

For LH2/LOX rocket
with c = 4500m/s

429 . 0
4500
3804
exp
0
=
|
.
|

\
|
=
m
m
f
This was an example of a Hohmann transfer

It was believed to have the minimum energy
requirement for moving between co-planar
circular orbits, as no fuel is wasted on
velocity vector rotation

Disproved by US student who postulated the
gravity assist manoeuvre for an assignment
Example 3: hyperbolic capture
into circular orbit
Arrival at mars with a relative approach
velocity (V

## ) of 3km/sec, with capture

into a circular orbit at an altitude of
4000km

Find
v
required
V

v
V
2

V
circ

2
2
6
2
4000
8*10 /
2
V
E
r
J kg

=
= =
Adjust hyperbolic approach so that its perigee is at
the altitude of the required circular orbit. The
required velocity change will then be along the
line of flight and at maximum velocity, giving the
greatest change in E for a given v
s m
E
E
E
r
E V
/ 6110
6 4
13 27 . 4 * 2
6 8 * 2
2
2
2
=
+ =
+ =

s m
E
E
r
V
circ
/ 3270
6 4
13 27 . 4
= =
=

Combinations of these manoeuvres enable all
bodies in the plane of the ecliptic to be visited.
Some moons rotate out of plane, and require
3D calculations of a more complex nature

Example 4: transfer of a satellite left in LEO
inclined at 30 degrees to the equator to GEO
This requires the same operations as in example 2,
plus an orbital plane change of 30

the plane change is best done at a point where the
orbit crosses the equator, where a simple velocity
rotation will suffice

It may be done at LEO, before or after perigee burn
or GEO, before or after apogee kick burn
or it may be combined with either of the 2 burns
Choose whichever gives the smallest v
LEO options
7834 m/s
10130
GEO options
1650
3158
Minimum v
( ) ( ) ( ) { }
s m
vrot
/ 1920
) 30 sin( 3158 1650 30 cos 3158
2 2
=
+ = A
s m
vtot
/ 5724
3804 1920
=
+ = A
Fuel requirement for manouver
For LH2/LOX rocket
with c = 4500m/s

28 . 0
4500
5724
exp
0
=
|
.
|

\
|
=
m
m
f