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Orbital Mechanics for Engineering Students

H. Curtis

45 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0123747783 / ISBN 13: 9780123747785
Published by Butterworth-Heinemann, 2009
Used Condition: As New Hardcover
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* A complete, stand-alone text for this core aerospace engineering subject * NEW: updated throughout, with new coverage of perturbations, Lambert's problem, attitude dynamics, and techniques for numerically integrating orbits * NEW: more examples and homework problems, more Matlab algorithms * NEW: improved support material, including instructor solutions manual and lecture PowerPoint slides. * NEW: Reorganized and improved discusions of coordinate systems, new discussion on perturbations and quarternions * NEW: Increased coverage of attitude dynamics, including new Matlab algorithms and examples in chapter 10 * New examples and homework problems * Highly illustrated and fully supported with downloadable MATLAB algorithms for project and practical work; fully worked examples throughout; extensive homework exercises; Instructor's Manual and lecture slides. SCRATCHED BACK COVER. Bookseller Inventory # 001085

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Orbital Mechanics for Engineering Students

Publisher: Butterworth-Heinemann

Publication Date: 2009

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:As New

About this title


Orbital Mechanics for Engineering Students, Second Edition, provides an introduction to the basic concepts of space mechanics. These include vector kinematics in three dimensions; Newton’s laws of motion and gravitation; relative motion; the vector-based solution of the classical two-body problem; derivation of Kepler’s equations; orbits in three dimensions; preliminary orbit determination; and orbital maneuvers. The book also covers relative motion and the two-impulse rendezvous problem; interplanetary mission design using patched conics; rigid-body dynamics used to characterize the attitude of a space vehicle; satellite attitude dynamics; and the characteristics and design of multi-stage launch vehicles.

Each chapter begins with an outline of key concepts and concludes with problems that are based on the material covered. This text is written for undergraduates who are studying orbital mechanics for the first time and have completed courses in physics, dynamics, and mathematics, including differential equations and applied linear algebra. Graduate students, researchers, and experienced practitioners will also find useful review materials in the book.

  • NEW: Reorganized and improved discusions of coordinate systems, new discussion on perturbations and quarternions
  • NEW: Increased coverage of attitude dynamics, including new Matlab algorithms and examples in chapter 10
  • New examples and homework problems

From the Back Cover:

TECHNOLOGY/Aeronautics & Astronautics


Orbital Mechanics for Engineering Students, Second Edition

Howard D. Curtis

"...Professor Curtis has crafted a text remarkably complete in detail and rigor for an introductory book. He communicates clearly in detail using text, illustration and exhaustive examples. These subjects typically challenge students, particularly during their initial exposure to the material. The superb examples will be extremely valuable to undergraduates and distinguishes this text from many others. This book should be given serious consideration for any undergraduate course in orbital mechanics or spacecraft dynamics." Ralph A. Sandfry, United States Air Force Academy, Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, vol 31, #2, AIAA.

All the necessary tools? theory, practical examples and computational procedures? to learn orbital mechanics in one volume.

Orbital mechanics is a cornerstone subject for aerospace engineering students. Maintaining the focus of the first edition, the author provides the foundation needed to understand the subject and proceed to advanced topics. Starting with the solution of the two-body problem and formulas for the different kinds of orbits, the text moves on to Kepler's equations, orbits in three dimensions, orbital elements from observations, orbital maneuvers, orbital rendezvous and interplanetary missions. This is followed by an introduction to spacecraft dynamics and a final chapter on basic rocket dynamics. The author's teach-by-example approach emphasizes the analytical procedures and computer-implemented algorithms required by today's students. There are a large number of worked examples, illustrations, end of chapter exercises (with answers) as well as many MATLAB® programs for use in homework and projects. The text can be used for one and two semester courses in space mechanics.

Key Features

. A new section on numerical integration methods applicable to space mechanics problems

. A more centralized and improved discussion of coordinate systems and Euler angle sequences

. An expanded development of relative motion in orbit

. A new section on quaternions

. New worked-out examples, illustrations and homework problems

. New algorithms, MATLAB® scripts and simulations

. Instructor's manual and lecture slides available online

.Included online testing and assessment component helps students assess their knowledge of the topics


Howard D. Curtis received his PhD from Purdue University's School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is Professor and former Chair of Aerospace Engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida, USA. He is a licensed Professional Engineer and an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

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