The method of least squares used to invert an orbit problem
Bannister, R. (2003) The method of least squares used to invert an orbit problem. American Journal of Physics, 71 (12). pp. 1268-1275. ISSN 0002-9505
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To link to this item DOI: 10.1119/1.1613270
Six parameters uniquely describe the orbit of a body about the Sun. Given these parameters, it is possible to make predictions of the body's position by solving its equation of motion. The parameters cannot be directly measured, so they must be inferred indirectly by an inversion method which uses measurements of other quantities in combination with the equation of motion. Inverse techniques are valuable tools in many applications where only noisy, incomplete, and indirect observations are available for estimating parameter values. The methodology of the approach is introduced and the Kepler problem is used as a real-world example. (C) 2003 American Association of Physics Teachers.