# Calculating the periapsis radius of a flyby manoeuvre without knowledge of the eccentricity of hyperbolic trajectory

Consider a probe approaching a planet for a hyperbolic flyby manoeuvre;

The eccentricity of the hyperbolic trajectory can be calculated using the following formula:

### $$e = 1 + \frac{r_pv_\infty^2}{\mu_1}$$

In the event that eccentricity and periapsis radius are both unknown, however, this formula is insufficient. Does there exist an alternative formula that would allow the eccentricity and the periapsis radius to be worked out separately, or by use of simultaneous equations?

Assume for now that all other necessary values are known, excluding $e$ and $r_p$.

I suspect it could be possible using a known aiming radius $∆$. Where:

$$\Delta= r_p\sqrt{1+\frac{2\mu_2}{r_pv_\infty^{2} }},$$

But I unfortunately can't quite get my head around the maths.

• What are the knowns? Aug 6, 2015 at 13:21

You have answered your own question. It appears that you know $\mu$ and $v_\infty$. Solve your $\Delta$ equation for $r_p$. It's just a quadratic (pick the positive solution). Then from $r_p$, you can get $e$ from your other formula.
• Am I also correct in assuming that $r_p$ refers to the distance between the probe and the centre of the planet? ie. The planet's mean radius + height of flyby at closest point. Aug 9, 2015 at 12:35