Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

William E. Wiesel Jr., PhD.


Space is becoming increasingly congested as more objects are launched into orbit. The potential for a collision on orbit increases each time a new object enters space. This thesis presents a methodology to determine an optimal direction to maneuver a satellite that may be involved in a potential collision. The author presents a paradigm to determine the optimal direction of maneuver to achieve the lowest probability of collision, and examines how different magnitudes of a maneuver will affect the probability of collision. The methodology shows that if a satellite maneuvers in the optimal direction at any time during the orbit, except incremental periods and half periods, the probability of collision is reduced to a negligible amount. This provides a means to determine a maneuver direction and magnitude that will remove satellites from the potential collision area, while minimizing the resources necessary and maintaining mission quality.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number