Analytical perturbation method for frozen orbits around the asteroid 433 Eros

Marta Ceccaroni, James Biggs

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In this paper a method for obtaining initial condition for frozen orbits around fast rotating, highly irregular bodies is presented. Such method is based on a general perturbative theory of motion, for inhomogeneous gravitational fields.
Taking into account the terms of the gravitational potential up to an arbitrary order to construct a precise Hamiltonian formulation of the problem, the system is averaged both over the argument of node and the mean anomaly, to reduce its complexity (i.e. the number of degrees of freedom). An approximate system is obtained, which provides an accurate description of the dynamics of the initial system. This can be applied to every celestial body and in particular, can be exploited for constructing a method for finding initial conditions to yield frozen orbits. These orbits can then be used as reference trajectories in missions that require close inspection of asteroids. To this end applications to derive frozen orbits for Eros 433 have been provided which could be of key interest for every observational, discovery mission around this asteroid.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2012
Event63rd International Astronautical Congress - Naples, Italy
Duration: 1 Oct 20125 Oct 2012


Conference63rd International Astronautical Congress


  • asteroid dynamics
  • frozen orbits
  • 433 Eros


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