Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Robert Bettinger, PhD


Cislunar periodic orbits provide an elegant means to fill the observational capability gaps which are present in ground-based and/or near-Earth spaced-base sensors. This research involves theoretical analysis on the effectiveness of cislunar periodic orbits for Space Domain Awareness (SDA) mission architectures. Specifically, cislunar periodic orbits are analyzed, both individually and in constellations with one another, for their effectiveness at monitoring target satellites in Lyapunov and halo orbits about the Earth - Moon L1 and L2 Lagrange points. All orbits are created and modeled in the Circular Restricted Three-Body Problem (CR3BP), then subject to perturbations in both the Elliptical Restricted Three-Body Problem (ER3BP) and the Bicircular Restricted Four-Body Problem (BCR4BP) to demonstrate how added perturbations affect trajectory and ultimately how stabilizing controllers will be needed to maintain periodicity in these orbits. A new taxonomy for the classification of SDA regions is also presented which will enable a spatial division of the national SDA mission portfolio. Finally, selected cislunar periodic orbits are subject to a catastrophic spacecraft explosion to understand the debris-related consequences of mishaps within this orbital regime.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number