Re: SeeSat-D Digest V01 #15

From: Samuel H. Dupree, Jr. (
Date: Wed Jan 10 2001 - 22:52:50 PST

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    > Subject: Satellite Book
    > Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2001 13:41:25 -0500
    > From: Jonathan T Wojack <>
    > To:
    > I received the book "Fundamentals of Astrodynamics" yesterday in the mail
    > from for $10 U.S.  It seems to be a great book.  Written in
    > 1971 (by B.-M.-W.), it was originally a textbook for U.S. Air Force,
    > etc., students entering the astrodynamics and spaceflight arena.  I think
    > it will greatly enhance my comprehension of orbits.  Includes planetary
    > orbits, too (meaning that you can learn the math necessary to take a
    > spacecraft from Earth orbit, take it to gravity-assisted maneuvers, and
    > arrive in orbit of Jove - like Galileo).  Greatly recommend it!  Cheap,
    > too!  A sample question (it IS a textbook, after all) from just the first
    > chapter: if a satellite is in a 100mi x 600mi orbit, what is its period?
    > A question:  is there any place in the world where you can get a
    > degree/certificate/diploma in astrodynamics/"orbitology"?  Not only to I
    > seek to gain a greater mathematical grasp of one of my most favorite
    > hobbies, but I also hope to advance toward the pursuit a landing a career
    > in spaceflight.
    > Anyone else read this book?
    I read Bates, Mueller and White (B-M-W) some years ago, because that
    was all there was at time. The problem I find with B-M-W is that it
    doesn't cover contemporary topics such as station keeping, general
    perturbation, and the use of modern estimation techniques in orbit
    determination. However, David Vallado has written a book that
    incorporates the fundamentals covered in B-M-W, while covering
    the contemporary topics I mentioned earlier. So, if you are open to
    a suggestion, you might want to take a look at "Fundamentals of
    Astrodynamics and Applications" by David Vallado.
    I absolutely love this book! It's much more of the current topics
    than B-M-W. In terms of coverage, the text contains:
        - a treatment on special and general perturbation methods
        - real world mission analysis: station keeping, designing
          and maintaining mission orbits, a discussion on GPS
        - orbit determination
    Vallado's text covers the fundamentals thoroughly, but what I love about
    this text is the coverage it gives to the use of Kalman Filters in orbit
    determination in addition to the least squares techniques covered in
    texts like B-M-W. Lastly, its bibliography is very complete. I find
    Vallado's book the kind of text that both the student and practitioner
    of astrodynamics will want to have in their tool suite.
    If you find yourself wanting more than what B-M-W covers, give Vallado's
    book a try.
    Hope this helps.
    Sam Dupree.
    P.S. - "Fundamentals of Astrodynamics and Applications" is available on
  Check it out!
      Samuel H. Dupree, Jr.                        
      600 West Harvey St., Apt A-703                                             
      Philadelphia, PA 19144, USA     
      HOME: (215) 842-3663      WORK: (610) 531-7994       FAX: (610) 531-3145   
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