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For a Dyson swarm (a large collections of advanced SBSP satellites usually in heliocentric orbit), the orbit is an important and difficult component. A possible orbital system is a torus-shaped orbit (shown above), in which each satellite is physically separated from each other. How stable would this orbit be, how practical would it be for a Dyson swarm, and where can I find more information on this topic?

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    $\begingroup$ Hello V.Roland, welcome to Worldbuilding. When you get a moment, please take our tour and read the following to pages: help center and help center. Please note that we allow one and only one question per post (you're asking three) and the third question is kinda off-topic. But a bit can be found here. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Jul 18, 2022 at 2:47
  • $\begingroup$ Please clarify your specific problem or provide additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it's hard to tell exactly what you're asking. $\endgroup$
    – Community Bot
    Jul 18, 2022 at 3:03
  • $\begingroup$ I think you've misunderstood that image. I'm reasonably certain it is just a visualisation of a whole bunch of things in entirely conventional orbits of varying parameters. Do you have any references for what you're thinking of? $\endgroup$ Jul 18, 2022 at 15:56
  • $\begingroup$ I am fairly certain that this image represents the trace of one single object in an inclined elliptical orbit around a star, the reference view is from another orbiting body with a different inclination. That would create this visual track, although objectively, this orbit itself is a simple elliptical. $\endgroup$
    – Vogon Poet
    Jul 19, 2022 at 2:55

1 Answer 1


This is the start of an answer. This question actually interests me at the moment, so I might come around later and buff out the scratches.

This sort of Dyson swarm is called a Jenkins configuration. Orion's Arm provides a brief outline. More information can be found at Bob Jenkins' website.

Basically, it is comprised of regular elliptical orbits of similar eccentricities, inclined and precessing about an axis outside the plane of the ellipse.
From what I can tell, this configuration doesn't have many advantages over others. Its biggest advantage is keeping "neighbors next to neighbors". Planets/satellites that are initially neighbors at one point will still be neighbors at another.
Concerning stability, Jenkins writes:

These toruses are passively stable in the short term (a few orbits), but not in the long term (thousands or orbits).

He later writes that they can be made "metastable" if the original placement were just right, and no perturbations existed (i.e., computer simulation, not in reality). Long-term stability can be achieved through active maintenance/orbital corrections.


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