The new Open Access paper by Alessandro Masat, Matteo Romano and Camilla Colombo explores different shades of the b-plane representation of close encounters.
Exploiting the vectorial description at the basis of Opik’s theory, generic perturbing effects are condensed into three angular parameters, used to extend the definition of the circular resonant loci of points to match numerically simulated orbital resonances.
The use of the b-plane for flyby design is also explored. The description exploits the deflection model to link planetary and interplanetary phases in the zero-radius-sphere-of-influence, patched conics approximation. A few seconds only were required to reproduce a Solar Orbiter-like resonant phase with Venus.