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Conic 1. A curve formed by the intersection of a plane and a right circular cone. Originally called conic section.

The conic sections are the ellipse, the parabola, and the hyperbola, curves that are used to describe the path or bodies moving in space. The circle is a special case of the ellipse, an ellipse with an eccentricity of zero.

The conic is the locus of all points the ratio of whose distances from a fixed point, called the focus, and a fixed line, called the directrix, is constant.

2. In reference to satellite orbital parameters, without consideration of the perturbing effects of the actual shape or distribution of mass of the primary. Thus, conic perigee is the perigee the satellite would have if all the mass of the primary were concentrated at its center.


This article is based on NASA's Dictionary of Technical Terms for Aerospace Use