Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Buzz Aldrin. Starcraft Enterprises. The Richard H. Battin. Astrodynamics Conference. College Station. He mentioned during the Richard H. Battin Astrodynamics Symposium that his solution of the Lambert problem was among his favorite accomplishments. An introduction to the mathematics and methods of astrodynamics. Front Cover. Richard H. Battin. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics,


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As noted above, while working out how to get to Mars, Dick realized that he needed a means to improve navigational accuracy by using multiple measurements taken throughout the mission. This of course meant he also had to have a way of combining older measurements, taken elsewhere on the Page 34 Share Cite Suggested Citation: He did not do this in the abstract; what he did was in the context of a very real application—another example of his practical insight.

By linearizing the dynamics relative to the nominal nonlinear trajectory, Dick was able to propagate covariance between battin astrodynamics times using what is now widely known battin astrodynamics the state transition matrix to obtain a remarkably compact algorithm that had to be compatible with a very constraining computer architecture.

The problem is highly significant in mission analysis and orbit transfers generally.

An introduction to the mathematics and methods of astrodynamics - Richard H. Battin - Google книги

He mentioned during the Richard H. Battin Astrodynamics Symposium that his solution of the Lambert problem was among battin astrodynamics favorite accomplishments.


He battin astrodynamics laughed when I told him I expected his next paper on these subjects to be the impossible closed form solution! Apollo was the first all digital fly by wire aerospace vehicle guidance, navigation, and control system.

He set battin astrodynamics standard of excellence that was required by this high-profile manned space program and his mastery of making complex matters seem simple continuously came to bear on the problem.

Methods developed under battin astrodynamics leadership during this period are still in use today to develop and verify mission-critical software in myriad areas.

The Apollo guidance computer was extremely rudimentary by comparison to current models.


The hardware had to withstand the space environment and simply could not fail—there was only one computer in each spacecraft, because of weight and space constraints. Widespread use of common hardware for example, a single type of battin astrodynamics circuit and exhaustive hardware testing succeeded—no Apollo guidance computer ever failed before, during, or after the Apollo missions.

These computers had a wire battin astrodynamics memory of 36, words and only 2, words of erasable memory to perform the entire mission, including all aspects of guidance, navigation, and control.

An Introduction to the Mathematics and Methods of Astrodynamics - Richard H. Battin - Google книги

The word length was only 16 bits, but one bit was battin astrodynamics for sign and another for parity, leaving only the battin astrodynamics 14 to do calculations—less than five full decimal numbers. There was no room for a higher-order language so all programming had to be done in machine language.

The limited word length in particular was a continuous challenge to the software design, including the navigation filter.

The first attempts to use battin astrodynamics filter in the Apollo guidance computer failed because of word length issues. Dick was very concerned about this and asked a young new employee, James Potter, to look at the issue.

Jim was a brilliant cross-eyed mathematician who often seemed to be thinking about and battin astrodynamics at anything but the subject at hand sort of like another MIT legend, Norbert Wiener. This anecdote is testimony to the fact that Dick tended to gather brilliant people around him—they all enjoyed working with him and held him in the highest esteem.

RICHARD H. BATTIN | Memorial Tributes: Volume 20 | The National Academies Press

Most of us have been in environments where employees complained about the boss; I never heard such criticism of Dick—only the reverse.

Which leads me to some personal recollections about Dick, our battin astrodynamics working together, and battin astrodynamics he affected my career.


He hired me from the Poseidon missile guidance group at the MIT Instrumentation Lab in and I worked for him until when I became the vice president of technical operations for the entire Draper Laboratory, at which time our roles reversed. My first assignment under him was battin astrodynamics evaluate the feasibility of adding flight control to the Apollo guidance computers.

battin astrodynamics

The battin astrodynamics if this could be done would be to eliminate significant weight from spacecraft by eliminating flight control—specific hardware. He agreed and NASA decided to proceed. This left some key positions open, including the head of flight control design and software for battin astrodynamics the subsequent Apollo missions.

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