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Fundamentals of Astrodynamics (Dover Books on Aeronautical Engineering) Paperback – 1 Jan 1972
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From the Back Cover
When the United States Air Force Academy began teaching astrodynamics to undergraduates majoring in astronautics or aerospace engineering, it found that the traditional approach to the subject was well over 100 years old. An entirely new text had to be evolved, geared to the use of high speed digital computers and actual current practice in the industry. Over the years the new approach was proven in the classrooms of the Academy; its students entering graduate engineering schools were found to possess a better understanding of astrodynamics than others. So pressing is the need for superior training in the aerospace sciences that the professor-authors of this text decided to publish it for other institutions' use. This Dover edition is the result.The text is structured for teaching. Central emphasis is on use of the universal variable formulation, although classical methods are discussed. Several original unpublished derivations are included. A foundation for all that follows is the development of the basic two-body and n-body equations of motion; orbit determination is then treated, and the classical orbital elements, coordinate transformations, and differential correction. Orbital transfer maneuvers are developed, followed by time-of-flight with emphasis on the universal variable solution. The Kepler and Gauss problems are treated in detail. Two-body mechanics are applied to the ballistic missile problem, including launch error analysis and targeting on a rotating earth. Some further specialized applications are made to lunar and interplanetary flight, followed by an introduction to perturbation, special perturbations, integration schemes and errors, and analytic formulation of several common perturbations.Example problems are used frequently, while exercises at the end of each chapter include derivations and quantitative and qualitative problems. The authors suggest how to use the text for a first course in astrodynamics or for a two-course sequence.This major instructional tool effectively communicates the subject to engineering students in a manner found in no other textbook. Its efficiency has been thoroughly demonstrated. Dover feels privileged in joining with the authors to make its concepts and text matter available to other faculties.
A new work, first published by Dover in 1971.
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Top customer reviews
The book's only weakness is its age. Several real-world examples are out-of-date, and the numerical analysis techniques do not reflect the current state-of-the-art.
Nevertheless, this is the best book to start learning astrodynamics, and gives a solid foundation from which to study more advanced texts.
The big problem is the typesetting of the mathematics. If ever you've seen a modern maths text, or a historic classic, you'll know that the layout of the maths is a huge issue, and that it's usually very well done: they'll use LaTeX mostly, and even if they don't, the typesetting isn't a distracting. In this book, though, for me, it is. There are very misaligned equations, messed up fractions, text that should be on a separate line below the equation actual is before the equation or immediately after it on the same line.
These grievances may be for only a small subset of people that care about the design of a book, but I think they're worth noting.
That said, it's not going to stop me from reading the book, but it will be in the back of my mind that this could've been done much better with only little effort.
initially for cadets at the US Air Force Academy to provide them
with an overview of space dynamics, coordinate systems and orbital
mechanics. BMW is a good "guided tour" of the subject, but has
weaknesses in areas such as the two-point boundary-value problem,
and in the theory of perturbations. When used as a text or reference
handbook for basic two-body orbital problems, BMW is a quick,
inexpensive and reliable guide. More sophisticated references should
be consulted for more sophisticated problems. A must on every
satellite engineer or trajectory analyst's bookshelf.
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