Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy

, Volume 123, Issue 2, pp 105–122 | Cite as

Orbit determination with the two-body integrals: III

Original Article


We present the results of our investigation on the use of the two-body integrals to compute preliminary orbits by linking too short arcs of observations of celestial bodies. This work introduces a significant improvement with respect to the previous papers on the same subject: Gronchi et al. (2010, 2011). Here we find a univariate polynomial equation of degree 9 in the radial distance \(\rho \) of the orbit at the mean epoch of one of the two arcs. This is obtained by a combination of the algebraic integrals of the two-body problem. Moreover, the elimination step, which in Gronchi et al. (2010, 2011) was done by resultant theory coupled with the discrete Fourier transform, is here obtained by elementary calculations. We also show some numerical tests to illustrate the performance of the new algorithm.


Orbit determination Algebraic methods Linkage of too short arcs \(J_{2}\) effect 



We wish to thank the referees, Zoran Knežević and Jean-Marc Petit, whose useful comments allowed us to improve the final version of the manuscript. This work is partially supported by the Marie Curie Initial Training Network Stardust, FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN, Grant Agreement 317185.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di MatematicaUniversità di PisaPisaItaly

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