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tech track papers

Categories: 2019, Mission Assurance

Rendezvous Mission Risk Reduction Through Passively Safe Orbital Rendezvous

Abstract: Orbital rendezvous is a critical element of missions to perform satellite servicing, active debris mitigation, in-space manufacturing, cargo and crew resupply, and sample capture. One method for reducing risk in orbital rendezvous applications is to design the rendezvous mission elements to minimize the probability of collision if vehicle control is lost during terminal approach operations. This is known as a passively safe rendezvous. A passive safety analysis of a rendezvous mission is used to evaluate the cumulative probability of collision in the event that the chaser spacecraft experiences a fault that results in a loss of maneuvering capability. The key factors in determining the passive safety of a rendezvous mission are the chosen approach trajectory, state estimation technique, and the probability of collision calculation. This paper will demonstrate how rendezvous mission elements can be designed to achieve the desired level of collision risk using a state covariance approach. A Kalman filter is used to generate a relative state estimate and covariance from a nominal approach trajectory and realistic sensor noise values. The state covariance matrix prior to each maneuver is used to predict maneuver errors and the corresponding instantaneous probability of collision. The effectiveness of this approach for designing passively safe terminal rendezvous trajectories is demonstrated through a set of case studies of rendezvous scenarios.

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Author: McClain Goggin
Topic: Mission Assurance

  • Paper Goggin, McClain - Rendezvous Mission Risk Reduction Through Passively Safe Orbital Rendezvous _0.pdf

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  • Presentation Goggin, McClain - Rendezvous Mission Risk Reduction Through Passively Safe Orbital Rendezvous.pdf

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