Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Richard G. Cobb, PhD
The United States Government is the world’s de facto provider of space object cataloging data, but is challenged to maintain pace in an increasingly complex space environment. This work advances a multi-disciplinary approach to better understand and evaluate an underexplored solution recommended by national policy, in which current collection capabilities are augmented with non-traditional sensors. System architecting and literature identify likely needs, performance measures, and contributors to a conceptualized Augmented Network. Multiple hypothetical telescope architectures are modeled and simulated on four separate days throughout the year, then evaluated against performance measures and constraints using optimization. Decision analysis and Pareto optimality identify a small, diverse set of high-performing architectures while preserving design flexibility. The efficacy of using the performance measures as proxies for reducing positional uncertainty is also explored. The results suggest a 3.5-times increase in average capacity, 55% improvement in coverage, and 3.5 hour decrease in the average maximum time a space object goes unobserved is achievable if decision-makers adopt the Augmented Network approach. A correlation between performance and positional uncertainty is found, suggesting top architectures can generally achieve a major Space Domain Awareness technical requirement without explicitly conducting an orbit determination routine on simulated collection data.
DTIC Accession Number
Vasso, Albert R., "Optimal Incorporation of Non-Traditional Sensors Into the Space Domain Awareness Architecture" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 5094.