Optimal Control and Space Situational Awareness:
A Surprising Couple

Professor Daniel J. Scheeres
The University of Colorado at Boulder
Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences
Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research

The topic of Space Situational Awareness (SSA) has become an important field of study over the last several years, highlighted by the growing number of nations with orbital assets, the documented growth in space debris, and the collision of two satellites in orbit in 2009. I will discuss several open questions that need resolution in this field, related to the tracking and identification of Earth satellites, modeling of non-gravitational perturbation effects, coupling between attitude and orbital dynamics, and the characterization of both space debris and active satellites.

In the characterization of active satellites one can bring together classical techniques from the field of optimal control with strategic issues related to SSA. We will outline the connections between these topics and show how optimal control leads naturally to the concept of a control metric to measure the distance between two satellites in terms of the propulsive effort needed to connect two orbital states. With this concept in hand, we will provide explicit examples of its application and introduce additional motivating questions for its future use.

The talk will be given in English

Mon, 17-02-2014, 13:30 (Gathering at 13:00)

Classroom, ground floor, Library, Aerospace Eng.

Light refreshments will be served before the lecture


Optimal Control and Space Situational Awareness: A Surprising Couple