Advisor: Marcus Holzinger
Lab: VADeR (Vision, Autonomy, and Decision Research) Lab
Space Domain Awareness (SDA) is a field in aerospace engineering that gathers “actionable knowledge required to predict, avoid, deter, operate through, recover from, and attribute cause to losing or degrading space capabilities and services." Current SDA systems were designed to work only within the confines of Earth's gravitational influence, i.e. LEO to GEO orbits. However, these systems have difficulty sensing beyond GEO. The growing interest in the area of influence around the moon, cislunar space, requires an expansion of SDA capabilities to this region. The following research will develop a solution to this gap by developing a self-sufficient sensor network concept for SDA between GEO and cislunar space. The solution will require novel methods for mission design, orbit determination, remote object detection, tracking, and characterization, and sensor tasking. The research will fuse these methods to develop a theoretical network of sensors placed in various cislunar orbital families that has the capability to autonomously maintain its own architecture while simultaneously searching for non-cooperative objects. This capability will ensure military and civilian leaders have adequate situational awareness and intelligence of activities in the cislunar region to make informed decisions on matters of national security.