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Name: Darren
Status: other
Age: 30s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 

How can you calculate the closest point(s) between two circular orbits which are not in the same plane or orientation?


I have not looked at this specific problem but the general approach is as follows. If you have the equations of the two orbits, you can write an equations describing the distance between two arbitrary points, a point on each curve. Then you find the minimum or maximum of this function.

As s first step, you can try solving this problem in 2-D (i.e., two circles in the same plane) and then generalize to 3-D.

Good luck.

Dr. Ali Khounsary
Advanced Photon Source
Argonne National Laboratory
Argonne, IL 60439

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