Aerospace Engineering Department

Degree Name

BS in Aerospace Engineering




Kira Abercromby


The classical orbital elements of an orbit are eccentricity, angular momentum, inclination, right ascension of ascending node, true anomaly, and argument of perigee. These six parameters define an orbit. Using MATLAB® to model a satellite orbiting Earth in three dimensions, a graphical user interface was created to allow a user to manipulate the orbital elements to desired quantities. In doing so, each parameter’s impact on the orbit is visually displayed. This furthers the understanding of how the parameters are linked to the orbit. When the interface is first opened, the default circular orbit has a range of 20,000 kilometers, an angular momentum of about 133,929 km2/s, an inclination of 45°, a true anomaly of 30°, and right ascension of ascending node and argument of perigee of 0°. This default orbit can easily be changed by sliders and input boxes on the interface. The user-friendly interface allows for anyone to better understand an orbit and its parameters.

Included in

Astrodynamics Commons