DPS 2001 meeting, November 2001
Session 59. Asteroid Surveys and Physical Studies I
Oral, Chairs: M. Kelley, A. Rivkin, Saturday, December 1, 2001, 2:30-4:10pm, Regency E

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[59.02] Applications of Statistical Ranging

E. Bowell (Lowell Obs.), K. Muinonen (Turin Obs.), J. Virtanen (Univ. Helsinki)

Statistical ranging (Virtanen et al. 2001; Icarus, in press) is a completely general approach to orbit estimation that is particularly applicable to short orbital arcs, where orbit computation is almost always nonlinear. Orbits are selected in orbital--element phase space using Monte Carlo techniques. The method can be applied to asteroids having only two observations. We remark on some applications of statistical ranging:

\noindent\bullet Classification of orbit type (e.g., Aten, Apollo).\\ \noindent\bullet Resolution of orbital element ambiguity.\\ \noindent\bullet Short--arc TNOs.\\ \noindent\bullet Time dependence of ephemeris uncertainty.\\ \noindent\bullet Night--to--night linkage at high asteroid surface density.\\ \noindent\bullet A multi--dimensional all--sky map of moving objects.\\ \noindent\bullet Equivalence of astrometric observations and orbital--element probability \hspace*{3.3mm}density.

Our research has been supported by NASA Grant NAG5--4742, Lowell Observatory, and the University of Helsinki (EB); and the Academy of Finland and Turin Observatory (KM).

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: ebowell@lowell.edu

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