Consideration of Collision "Consequence" in Satellite Conjunction Assessment and Risk Analysis


Hejduk, M., F. Laporte, M. Moury, T.S. Kelso, L. Newman, and R. Shepperd, "Consideration of Collision "Consequence" in Satellite Conjunction Assessment and Risk Analysis," presented at 31st International Symposium on Space Technology and Science (ISTS), 26th International Symposium on Space Flight Dynamics (ISSFD), and 8th Nano Satellite Symposium (NSAT), Matsuyama, Ehime, Japan, 2017 Jun 9.


Classic risk management theory requires the assessment of both likelihood and consequence of deleterious events. Satellite conjunction risk assessment has produced a highly-developed theory for assessing collision likelihood but holds a completely static solution for collision consequence, treating all potential collisions as essentially equally worrisome. This may be true for the survival of the protected asset, but the amount of debris produced by the potential collision, and therefore the degree to which the orbital corridor may be compromised, can vary greatly among satellite conjunctions. This study leverages present work on satellite collision modeling to develop a method by which it can be estimated, to a particular confidence level, whether a particular collision is likely to produce a relatively large or relatively small amount of resultant debris and how this datum might alter conjunction remediation decisions. The more general question of orbital corridor protection is also addressed, and a preliminary framework presented by which both collision likelihood and consequence can be jointly considered in the risk assessment process.

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