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Speaker: Daniele Mortari, Texas A&M University

Title: Secondary Paths in Flower Constellations


The Flower Constellation (FC) is a new way to design constellations of satellites with axial-symmetric dynamics. FCs considerably generalize the multi-stationary orbits and earlier methods to design constellations by exhibiting many beautiful and mysterious properties. In particular, their relative paths (paths relative to rotating reference frames) are still far from completely understood, and their prediction appears to be linked to real algebraic geometry.

Several FC animations will be shown. Some of these examples are potentially suitable for Earth observing systems, while others for deep space observations among other mission goals. The underlying software (FCVAT, a Java 3D program) allows one to play with multiple FCs and design many constellations with intricate secondary paths. Updated news on FCs can be found at http://flowerconstellation.tamu.edu.

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