Solving Kepler's equation using Bezier curves Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper presents a non-iterative approach to solve Kepler's Equation, M = E - e sin E, based on non-rational cubic and rational quadratic Bzier curves. Optimal control point coordinates are first shown to be linear with respect to orbit eccentricity for any eccentric anomaly range. This property yields the development of a piecewise (e.g., 3, 4) solving technique providing accuracies better than 10-13 degree for orbit eccentricity e < 0.99. The proposed method does not require large pre-computed discretization data, but instead solves a cubic/quadratic algebraic equation and uses a single final Halley iteration in only a few lines of code. The method still provides accuracies better than 10-5 degree for the near parabolic worst case (e = 0.9999) with very small mean anomalies (M < 0.0517 deg). The complexity of the proposed algorithm is constant, independent of the parameters e and M. This makes the method suitable for extensive orbit propagations. 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Mortari, D., & Clocchiatti, A.

citation count

  • 15

complete list of authors

  • Mortari, Daniele||Clocchiatti, Alberto

publication date

  • September 2007