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Space flight orbit dynamics 7.5 Credits

Dynamik för rymdfärder:Bandynamik
Second cycle, R7015R
Course syllabus valid: Autumn 2017 Sp 1 - Present
The version indicates the term and period for which this course syllabus is valid. The most recent version of the course syllabus is shown first.

Education level
Second cycle
Grade scale
G U 3 4 5
Space Engineering
Subject group (SCB)
Space Technology

Entry requirements

M0032M Functions of Several Variables and Computer Tools or in other words basic courses in linear algebra, calculus, and ordinary differential equations and partial differentials. In-depth studies in mechanics involving Kepler laws with 3-dim applications, like F0008T Mechanics II. Some knowledge about satellites as well as some familarity with programming are advantageous.

More information about English language requirements


The selection is based on 20-285 credits

Course Aim

The student shall acquire ability to understand and predict how spacecraft orbit evolves.
The student shall acquire familiarity with concepts and methods used within the field spaceflight dynamics. These requirements are shown by the student’s ability to account for this.

The student shall acquire capability of performing analytical and computer based calculation of orbits. The student shall acquire skills in writing report of analysis and calculations.

The student shall be able to value different orbits efficiency concerning time consumption and fuel consumption.   This is shown by comparative calculations.

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Kepler’s equations and Kepler’s problem. Classical orbital elements. Time and reference systems. Transformation between different reference systems.
Undisturbed elliptic, hyperbolic, and parabolic orbit.
Orbital maneuvers and transfers.
Orbit determination: Lambert’s problem.
Orbit perturbations: Flattening and irregularities of the Earth, third-body perturbation, atmospheric drag force, and solar-radiation pressure.


Lectures. Students solve certain exercises with computer aids.

Written examination and hand in assignments. In order to pass the course it is required that all examinations and obligatory tasks are completely satisfactory. The final grade 5, 4, 3, and U (Fail) given for the course reflects the results obtained in the various components of the course.

Johnny Ejemalm

Literature. Valid from Spring 2015 Sp 3
Vallado, David A., Fundamentals of Astrodynamics and Applications, 3rd ed. Series: Space Technology Library, Vol 21, Springer 2007.
Hard, ISBN 10: 0387718311 ISBN 13: 9780387718316
Microcosm: Soft. ISBN-10: 1881883140 ISBN-13: 9781881883142

Supplementary course literature:
Chapter 9 and 10 in
Wertz, James R., Everett, David. F., Puschell, Jeffery J.: Space Mission Engineering: The New SMAD, Microcosm Press2011.
ISBN 978-1-881-883-15-9 (pb)
ISBN 978-1-881-883-16-6 (hb)

Course offered by
Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering

0002Written exam4.5G U 3 4 5
0004Assingment work3.0U G#

Study guidance
Study guidance for the course is to be found in our learning platform Canvas before the course starts. Students applying for single subject courses get more information in the Welcome letter. You will find the learning platform via My LTU.

Syllabus established
by Department of Space Science 17 Dec 2009

Last revised
by Jonny Johansson, HUL SRT 15 Feb 2017