Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering Management


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Michael Grimaila, PhD.


The Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) are jointly developing a system known as the Payload Alert Communications System (PACS) whose purpose is to decrease the statistical uncertainty in the location of resident space objects (RSOs). PACS is designed to augment the Joint Space Operations Center's (JSpOC) existing space object tracking capabilities which is expected to increase the accuracy of conjunction estimation. In the current PACS design, a small payload would be attached to certain RSOs prior their launch. It is envisioned that this payload would basically consist of a microcontroller, a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, a communication transceiver, and a power source. Once on orbit, the PACS payload would collect GPS position information and then periodically, or upon demand, transmit the orbital information back to JSpOC. In this thesis, a study is performed to determine how the accuracy of conjunction analysis performed by the JSpOC would be impacted when RSOs are equipped with PACS. This effort requires the development an initial PACS system architecture, formulation of the mathematical models used in conjunction analysis, and the simulation and analysis of conjunction analysis under various scenarios.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number