Spacecraft Flying in Formation

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This Demonstration shows the relative orbit of one satellite, called the follower, as observed from a Cartesian frame fixed at the center of another satellite, called the leader. Both vehicles orbit a central body like the Earth. The shape of the relative orbit depends on the relative initial position and velocity of the satellites. This Demonstration shows two views of the orbit, circular (the actual relative orbit is a circle, its projection on the - plane is an ellipse) and projected circular (the projection on the - plane is a circle). The user can choose which one to view.

Contributed by: Pradipto Ghosh (March 2011)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA


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