What are propagators and why do we care about them?
One of the most common problems in astrodynamics and orbital mechanics is that we want to know where a body will be at a given position along its orbit for a given time. It is possible to integrate by hard the two-body equation and then apply some boundary conditions. However, this last option is just insane and would take several hours or days to be done by a human.
There is a better way to get the position as a function of time or
orbit. Johannes Kepler's contributions to the astrodynamics and orbital
mechanics field were really important and can be summarized here, in the
so-called Kepler's Laws:
- Planets' orbits follow an elliptical path around the Sun, which is located in one of the focus.
- Planets cover equal …