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Derive flight path angle from orbital elements

  1. Jun 1, 2009 #1
    Hello everyone,

    During the last few days I've been working to solve a "small" problem I hope someone here might be better at than I am.

    I'm writing a function that returns the state vectors of an orbiting body of neglible mass based on the orbital elements semimajor axis, semiminor axis, argument of periapsis, and true anomaly. The function works in two dimensions only.

    I have solved the problem so far as to calculate the orbiting body's position vector and velocity vector magnitude, but the direction of the velocity vector - especially the flight path angle - is causing me a headache.

    Can someone please help me? I won't mind posting the source code and what math I've used so far, if this will be of any help.

    Last edited: Jun 1, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 2, 2009 #2
    nevermind, I figured it out.
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