An analytical solution to quick-response collision avoidance maneuvers in Low Earth Orbit

Jason A. Reiter, David B. Spencer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Collision avoidance maneuvers to prevent orbital collisions between two catalogued objects are typically planned multiple days in advance. If the warning time is decreased to less than half-an-orbit in advance, the problem becomes more complex. Typically, the burn (assumed to be impulsive) would be placed at perigee or apogee and oriented in the direction that allows for a fuel-optimal maneuver to be performed well before the predicted collision. Instead, for quick-response scenarios, finite burn propagation was applied to determine the thrust duration and direction required to reach a desired minimum collision probability. Determining the thrust time and direction for a wide range of orbits and spacecraft properties resulted in a semi-analytical solution to the collision avoidance problem anywhere in Low Earth Orbit. The speed at which this method can be applied makes it valuable when minimal time is available to perform such a maneuver.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpaceflight Mechanics 2016
EditorsMartin T. Ozimek, Renato Zanetti, Angela L. Bowes, Ryan P. Russell, Martin T. Ozimek
PublisherUnivelt Inc.
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9780877036333
StatePublished - 2016
Event26th AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting, 2016 - Napa, United States
Duration: Feb 14 2016Feb 18 2016

Publication series

NameAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
ISSN (Print)0065-3438


Other26th AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting, 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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