Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

William E. Wiesel, PhD


The USAF has developed the Space Maneuver Vehicle (SMV) to fulfill the requirement for flexibility, rapid response, and on-demand maneuverability of space assets. This reusable satellite merges the efficiency and readiness of aircraft-like operations with the capability of global coverage from space. Designed to provide over 10,500 fps of velocity change (or delta-v) while in orbit, the SMV out-maneuvers existing satellites by up to 100 times. This thesis helps transition the SMV to the operational area by demonstrating their responsiveness to varied mission taskings. The SMV Orbital Mission Planner allows the operator to place any number of SMVs in orbit and input tasking orders for ground target overflight. Using methods of orbit determination from two positions and time, the application determines which of the orbiting vehicles could perform desired missions within associated time and delta-v constraints. Once an operator selects a vehicle to perform the mission from the list of capable SMVs, the Mission Planner provides maneuver specifications and updates the respective SMV's orbit and delta-v remaining. Analysis showed that 10,500 fps of delta-v yielded quick response times for a wide range of ground target locations; however, rapid depletion of the delta-v budget would occur without proper resource management.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number



The author's Vita page is omitted.