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Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Space Flight Mechanics

Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and NPTEL via Swayam


This course is designed to introduce orbital mechanics of satellite. Thecourse will begin with central force motion and then proceed to the two-body and three-body dynamics under mutual gravitational acceleration. Itwill also introduce the concept of Lagrange Points and their stability.Moreover, the concept of general orbit perturbation will also bediscussed. Earth as a non-spherical body and its effect on gravity will beelaborated. Preliminary orbit determination of the satellite will bediscussed. Finally, orbit transfer will be elaborated.
Aerospace, Mechanical, Physics, MathematicsPREREQUISITES :Calculus of Multi-variables, Physics, Applied MechanicsINDUSTRIES SUPPORT :ISRO, DRDO, BOEING, and various private industries working on satellite



Week 1: Conic Section & Central Force motionWeek 2: Two Body problem (equation of relative motion, integrals of the two body problem)Week 3: The Classical Orbital Elements (determination from burnout data and inverse problem of orbit determination)Week 4: Kepler’s Equation and Kepler’s Problem (orbit propagation)Week 5: Three Body/Restricted Three Body Problem (equation of motion)Week 6: Restricted Three Body Problem (Lagrange points and their stability)Week 7: General Perturbation Theory (variation of parameters)Week 8: General Perturbation Theory (variation of parameters)Week 9: Preliminary Orbit Determination (reference frames and methods of orbit determination)Week 10:Orbit Transfer (Hohmann and Bielliptic)Week 11:Orbit Transfer (patched conic section method, interplanetary transfer, flyby)Week 12:Non-Coplanar Orbit Transfer (Interception and Rendezvous)

Taught by

Prof. Manoranjan Sinha

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