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Determining orbits from measurements has been done for hundreds of years. The general approach is to take a series of measurements of the object from the ground. This is a set of angles at different times. Given the location on the Earth, and this set of data, one can reconstruct the orbit. Ideal orbits, which make the assumption that the Earth’s gravity is a point at the center of the Earth, are conic sections. Those that stay near the Earth are ellipses. These can be defined as a set of orbital elements. In this chapter, we will design a neural network to find the values for two of the elements. Our model will be simpler than that which astronomers must use. We will assume that all of our orbits are in the Earth’s equatorial plane and that the observer is at the center of the Earth.
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- Orbit Determination
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- Chapter 12