Methods

We use the RADAU fifteenth order integrator program with variable time steps taken at Gauss-Radau spacing [7] with which we integrate the full equations of motion of interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) of various sizes. Our simulations include seven planets (Mercury and Pluto excluded) and account for both P-R drag and solar wind drag. In this way we are able to build a description of both the proper elements (intrinsic, reflecting the formation process) and forced elements (imposed by planetary perturbations) of the particles and their variation with heliocentric distance to create a snapshot of the present day forced and proper element distribution.

The distribution of orbital elements originating from a given source, once produced from the numerical integrations, is visualized by the FORTRAN algorithm SIMUL [8]. SIMUL sets up a large three-dimensional array, and calculates the contribution of surface area to each cell from all orbits in the distribution. Line of sight integrations are then performed to simulate the observing strategy of any given satellite.

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