Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Costantinos Zagaris, PhD


The rapid expansion of the utilization of space by nations and industry has presented new challenges and opportunities to operate efficiently and responsibly. Reachability analysis is the process of computing the set of states that can be reached given all admissible controls and can be a valuable component in an autonomous mission planning system if conducted efficiently. In the current research, reachability analysis is used with several relative motion models to show that all ranges of orbits can be computed in milliseconds, and that it is a feasible approach for on-board autonomous mission planning. Reachability analysis is then combined with an Artificial Potential Function (APF) derived guidance control law to conduct safe spacecraft rendezvous between a deputy in a Natural Motion Circumnavigation (NMC) relative orbit around a chief while avoiding obstacles. While the APF employed in this research requires improvements for trajectory computation, this research demonstrates the feasibility of combining reachability analysis with an APF for safe, on-board, autonomous mission planning.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number