Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Nathan A. Titus, PhD


The use of satellites as a tactical asset to support theater operations is a desired capability for future space operations. Unlike traditional satellite systems designed to provide coverage over the entire globe or large regions, tactical satellites would provide coverage over a small region which can be modeled as a single ground point defined by a latitude and longitude. In order to provide sufficient utility as a theater asset, a satellite should be placed in an orbit that provides a maximum amount of coverage of the target ground point. This study examined the optimization of orbit parameters to maximize the number of passes made over a target. An optimization algorithm was developed to maximize the number of passes made while also minimizing the distance from the satellite to the target. Single satellite coverage properties as well as two and three satellite constellations were analyzed.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number


Included in

Astrodynamics Commons