Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Bryan D. Little, PhD


With renewed worldwide interest in cislunar space, the need for reliable domain awareness in that extended region of space is clear. This investigation quantifies the suitability of several possible stations for observer satellites in cislunar space by calculating the specific irradiance each would observe as they track satellites in various realistic lunar free-return trajectories across a decade, using reflected sunlight. This investigation includes one class of free return trajectories for target satellites, eleven distinct observer stations, and three different metrics for comparing the effectiveness of each observer station or combination of observer stations for sensing targets using reflected sunlight. The analysis showed that observer satellites in most, but not all, observer stations would be more effective than in low Earth orbit, and certain combinations of observer stations were significantly more effective. The exact ranking of least to most effective varied depending on the metric used.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number


Included in

Astrodynamics Commons