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NASA Robotic Conjunction Assessment Process: Overview and Operational Experiences Lauri Kraft Newman Conjunction Assessment Manager NASA Goddard Space.

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Presentation on theme: "NASA Robotic Conjunction Assessment Process: Overview and Operational Experiences Lauri Kraft Newman Conjunction Assessment Manager NASA Goddard Space."— Presentation transcript:

1 NASA Robotic Conjunction Assessment Process: Overview and Operational Experiences Lauri Kraft Newman Conjunction Assessment Manager NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Space Systems Protection Mission Support Office/Code April 15, 2008 GSFC Conjunction Assessment Team: D. McKinley, R. Frigm a.i. solutions, Inc. AIAA Space Operations & Support Technical Committee 14th Annual Improving Space Operations Workshop Spacecraft Collision Avoidance & Co-location Track

2 2 Agenda NASA Policy for Conjunction Assessment NASA Robotic Conjunction Assessment Process Operations Process Tool Suite Description Statistics Terra vs Case Study Lessons Learned

3 3 NASA CA Policy Policy for Limiting Orbital Debris (NPR ) requires routine CA for all NASA assets with maneuvering capability (signed 8/17/07). –FDAB has the capability to offer this service to any mission 3.4 Conjunction Assessments during Mission Operations (for Earth-Orbiting Spacecraft) The NASA Program/Project Manager shall have conjunction assessment analyses performed routinely for all maneuverable Earth-orbiting spacecraft with a perigee height of less than 2000 km in altitude or within 200 km of GEO (Requirement 56891) Conjunction assessment analyses shall be performed using the USSTRATCOM high-accuracy catalog as a minimum (Requirement 56892) The NASA Program/Project Manager shall have a collision risk assessment and risk mitigation process in place for all maneuverable Earth-orbiting spacecraft that are performing routine conjunction assessment analyses (Requirement 56893).

4 4 Existing NASA CA Process NASA Performs CA for its Human space assets (Shuttle and Station) as well as for various unmanned assets. –Requirements dictated by NPR –NASA/JSC performs CA for Human Space Flight assets 3 times a day –NASA/GSFC manages the CA for all unmanned NASA assets GSFC has performed CA routinely since January 2005 for: –11 Earth Science Constellation members, including USGS-owned Landsat missions –9 TDRS satellites GSFC program is expanding to encompass all NASA unmanned missions per the new requirement. –Plan to add 12 more missions over the next year.

5 5 Missions Supported [1 of 2] Earth Science Constellation Combination of NASA and Foreign assets Each mission makes its own risk mitigation decisions Each mission subject to own maneuverability, comm, and ops concept constraints

6 6 Missions Supported [2 of 2] Tracking Data & Relay Satellite System Relay system composed of ground systems and nine spacecraft in geosynchronous orbit positioned at various longitudinal slots about the Earth. TDRS-7 150° Stored TDRS °W Stored TDRS-9 062°W Stored TDRS °W GRGT WSC TDRS-5 171°W TDRS-1 049°W TDRS-4 046°W TDRS-3 275°W TDRS °W

7 7 FY09 CA Customer Base Earth Science Constellation GEO RegimeOther NASA Missions Landsat Landsat Terra EO SAC-C Aqua ICESat Aura PARASOL CloudSat CALIPSO TBD – OCO (launch 12/15/08) TBD – Glory (launch 3/1/09) TDRS TDRS TDRS TDRS TDRS TDRS TDRS TDRS TDRS 10 TBD - GOES-8 (launch 11/08 – L&EO only) TBD - SDO (launch ~ 4/09) JASON TOPEX TRMM QuickSCAT GRACE GRACE-2 TBD - GLAST (launch5/16/08) TBD - IBEX (launch 7/15/08) TBD - OSTM (launch 6/15/08)

8 8 Current GSFC CA Effort Pertinent National Space Policy excerpt –National Security Space Guidelines: To achieve the goals of this policy, the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) shall: Have responsibility for space situational awareness; in this capacity, the SECDEF shall support the space situational awareness requirements of the Director of National Intelligence and conduct space situational awareness for: …. civil space capabilities and operations, particularly human space flight activities. GSFC has an agreement with the Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC)/Space Superiority Cell to obtain conjunction assessment screening predictions for NASA robotic assets

9 9 CA Functional Overview Curvilinear Collision Probability CA Screening Risk Assessment Risk Assessment Risk Mitigation Risk Mitigation JSpOC Generate Close Approach Predictions Consists of: Performing Orbit Determination for catalog objects Computing separation distance between objects in high accuracy space object catalog Summarizing and reporting results Analyze data to determine threat Consists of: Trending miss distance and specific orbit determination related parameters Computing collision probability Performing collision probability sensitivity analysis CA analysts assist the Flight Operations Team Consists of: Maneuver planning Maneuver execution GSFC CA Team Mission Owner/Operator

10 10 GSFC CA Operational Summary Goddard-dedicated Orbital Safety Analysts at the JSpOC generate CA data M-F (weekends as needed) using the high-accuracy (SP) catalog –Close approach predictions are made 7 days into the future for LEO missions –Close approach predictions are made 10 days into the future for GEO missions Any planned maneuvers are modeled in the ephemerides provided by the mission. The CA data is provided to Goddard via secure FTP and . The GSFC CA team processes the data and provides risk assessment analysis results to the mission stakeholders

11 11 LEO Safety Volumes Three different mission safety volumes define data product delivery from JSpOC/SCC and data processing by GSFC CA team The safety volumes are expressed in the primary UVW coordinate frame: U (radial), V (in-track) and W (cross- track) Monitor Volume (ellipsoid) +/- 2 x 25 x 25 km –Largest filter used to initially identify and report potential close approaches Tasking Volume (box) +/- 0.5 x 5 x 5 km –Serves as a second warning and an elevated level of concern –Tasking level on the secondary object is increased (if necessary) Watch Volume (standoff distance) 1 km

12 12 GEO Safety Volumes Monitor Volume (standoff distance) 40 km –Largest filter used to initially identify and report potential close approaches Alert/Tasking Volume (standoff distance) 15 km –Serves as a second warning and an elevated level of concern –Tasking level on the secondary object is increased (if necessary) Watch Volume (standoff distance) 2 km –Risk mitigation maneuver planning options examined

13 13 Data Products from JSpOC All Monitor Volume violations are summarized in a Conjunction Screening Summary and delivered to the CA SFTP server. The Screening Summary contains: –Time of Closest Approach (TCA) –Total Miss Distance –Miss Distance Position and Velocity Components in RIC frame –An additional is sent documenting tracking data and tasking level An Orbital Conjunction Message (OCM) is provided for Tasking/Alert Volume violations. The OCM contains: –TCA –Asset State/Covariance at TCA –Object State/Covariance at TCA –Other orbit determination information helpful in performing collision risk assessment. Vector Covariance Messages (VCMs) for both objects are provided for Watch Volume violations. –VCMs contain epoch state and covariance information –Used for maneuver planning

14 Risk Assessment Process

15 15 Risk Assessment by CA Team Screening data is analyzed in two distinct ways –Routine Operations Daily activity to assess most recent delivery of close approach predictions Disposition conjunctions as a threat, not a threat, or monitor event based on analysis –High Interest Events Events that have significant potential to be a threat or provide a unique analysis opportunity Trending of orbit determination parameters and conjunction geometry Probability of Collision Sensitivity analysis Risk Mitigation Maneuver planning

16 16 Routine Operations At the end of the day, the OSA provides data products to the GSFC CA team –JSpOC OSA posts data products to the SFTP site. –CAS automatically parses the data and puts it into the database for trending and use with other tools –The CAM Tool Suite is run each time new data is received Data is processed by the automated CAS utility and generates various reports –A summary report is generated containing all pertinent information and delivered to the stake-holders –An OCM Analysis Report is generated for each event and posted to a secure website The following morning the CA Analyst –Verifies all data delivered to CA team and mission stakeholders –Reviews Screening Summary –Reviews all OCM Analysis Reports –Creates Watch List detailing all conjunctions in the Screening Summary and the action to be taken –Performs additional analysis on conjunctions using the Collision Risk Assessment Tool Suite

17 17 High Interest Event Risk Assessment P c and miss distance data alone cannot be used to fully assess the threat Additional analyses to help establish and quantify risk include: –Orbit determination (OD) consistency from solution to solution Number of tracks and observations Ballistic Coefficient Solar Radiation Pressure Coefficient Energy Dissipation Rate Radar Cross Sectional Area –Probabilistic Risk Assessment Analysis Realistic probability calculations based on realistic state and covariance predictions Pc evolution as the time to the close approach event gets shorter Pc sensitivity analysis based on changes to inputs –Conjunction Geometry (clock angle, approach angle) –Position of hard body radius with respect to the 3-sigma covariance ellipse

18 18 Risk Mitigation If the threat evaluation indicates the need to plan and (possibly) execute a maneuver –CA Team notifies Mission Owner/Operator –CA Team analyzes maneuver options that will mitigate the threat - first guess CA Team works with Mission Owner/Operator to plan risk mitigation options. –Maneuver must sufficiently increase the separation distance and decrease the collision probability –Maneuver must meet orbit requirements if at all possible CA Team analyzes sensitivity of P c to expected variations in burn performance

19 19 Typical LEO Risk Mitigation Maneuver Planning Process Maneuver planning begins ~ TCA-3 days –As TCA approaches, uncertainty decreases, but avoidance options decrease Allows time to: –Improve the OD solution on the secondary object –Evaluate several maneuver options –Have 1 st SPCS screen the options for post- maneuver close approaches –plan the final maneuver –Upload commands to the spacecraft

20 20 The Collision Assessment System Collision Assessment System (CAS) was developed to store and analyze the large volumes of data received. CAS is automated and comprised of several elements: –Secure File Transfer Protocol Server –Parser / Monitor Scripts –Database –Collision Assessment and Mitigation (CAM) Tool Suite –Secure Website –Configuration Management System

21 21 Collision Assessment and Mitigation Tool Suite The CAM Tool Suite is the part of CAS that provides analysis utilities The CAM Tool Suite consists of 6 modules: 1.Conjunction Visualization Script 2.2-D Collision Probability Utility 3.Monte Carlo Simulation 4.3-D / Curvilinear Collision Probability Tool 5.Time History Trending Utility 6.Collision Avoidance Planning Tool The modules are built using FreeFlyer TM and Matlab TM Output from tools is formatted into a single PDF report for each OCM

22 22 Screening Data Processing: Conjunction Summary Report Overlap compare computes differences between subsequent solutions for the same close approach JSpOC and Owner/Operator solutions are compared Results are posted to the Portal website

23 23 Screening Data Processing: CA Calendar A CA Calendar is produced and posted to the Portal –Contains close approach predictions of less than 1 km, events having P c > 1e-7, and planned maneuver dates/times.

24 24 Screening Data Processing: Watch List CA Analyst examines all data on Portal daily to produce a watch list of events warranting further analysis.

25 25 OCM Analysis: Conjunction Orientation Conjunction Orientation: Shows the position and position covariance of the Primary (blue) and Secondary (green) Objects in Earth Centered Inertial (ECI) coordinates.

26 26 OCM Analysis: Pc Sensitivity

27 27 OCM Analysis: Conjunction Plane

28 Earth Science Constellation Conjunction Statistics

29 29 CA Statistics - ESC For the Earth Science Constellation: –Each asset averages 15 unique conjunctions per week within the Monitor Volume (780/yr) –Each asset averages 1 unique conjunction per week within the Tasking Volume (52/yr) –Each asset averages 3 high interest events per year - ops team engages in maneuver planning process International Space Station (ISS) statistics for comparison (~340 km altitude, 51.6 deg inc): –For 2005, saw 24 Monitor Volume conjunctions, none with P c > 1 x –Have seen 251 conjunctions from 7/99 – 12/05 –Have executed 4 debris avoidance maneuvers –Average of 1.2 maneuvers per year predicted

30 30 ESC Safety Volume Violations Per Month

31 31 Average Number of Watch Volume Violations per Asset per Month

32 32 ESC Risk Mitigation Maneuvers Performed AssetSecondaryManeuver Date Terra14222 (SCOUT G-1)21-Oct, 2005 PARASOL81257 (Analyst SAT)16-Jan, 2007 SAC-C14345 (SL-8 DEB)16-Feb, 2007 Terra31410 (FENGYUN 1C DEB) 22-Jun, 2007 CloudSat28893 (SINAH 1)04-Jul, 2007

33 Chinese ASAT Event

34 34 ASAT Event - Background On January 11 th, 2007 China performed a successful test of an anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon The ASAT test consisted of a medium-range ballistic missile destroying a Chinese weather satellite Event occurred at an altitude of ~535 miles (861 km) First close approach with an ESC mission was predicted weeks after the event (04 Feb) Current number of cataloged objects ~2000 The NASA Orbital Debris Program Office estimates >35,000 pieces larger than 1 cm

35 35 Tracked objects >10 cm diameter (FENGYUN 1-C Debris in red) March 2007 Images courtesy NASA Orbital Debris Program Office Debris Environment Growth

36 36 FENGYUN 1C DEB Mean Equatorial Height vs. Inclination - Height Statistics (Oct 2007) (Min, Max, Mean, Std) Inclination Statistics (Oct 2007) (Min, Max, Mean, Std) ESC orbit

37 37 ASAT Safety Volume Violations

38 38 ASAT - Percent of Total

39 39 ESC Monitor Volume Violations FENGYUN 1C Debris

40 Case Study Terra vs TCA October 23, 2005

41 41 P c Trend On Monday Oct 17 th, 1 st SPCS predicted a close approach between Terra and object (SCOUT G-1 debris) –TCA: Oct 23 rd –Miss distance < 500 m –P c ~1e characteristics at TCA: –Period: min –Apogee Height: ~ km –Perigee Height: ~ km –Inclination: ~ 82.39˚ Throughout the week, the P c remained high primarily due to the decreasing miss distance and the close approach geometry. Day -6Day -5Day 0 Day -3 Day -1 GSFC-Computed P c Values For Each OCM Solution Days to TCA Collision Probability

42 42 Avoidance Maneuver Planning Throughout the week, the miss distance trended downward from solution to solution On Thursday, October 20 th the miss distance had dropped to <200 m, risk mitigation maneuver planning took place Four different maneuver options were generated and sent to JSpOC- Mountain for screening: Performing any of these maneuver options would increase the miss distance to a safe level and decrease the P c by several orders of magnitude Day -6Day -5Day 0 Day -3 Day -1 Option # V (m/s) Burn TimeDuration SMA (m) TCA /21 22:30 Z2.0 sec km /21 22:30 Z2.7 sec km /21 22:30 Z3.0 sec km /22 14:07 Z3.0 sec km

43 43 Miss Distance Trend On Friday, October 21 st the reported miss distance reached a local minimum and the collision probability reached a local maximum –Miss distance 50 – 60 m –Collision probability still on the order of 1e-2 Decision was made to perform maneuver option #2 –Based on trends throughout the week and the post-maneuver close approach screening results –Executed at 22:30 Z –Actual miss distance = 4.6 km –Actual P c 0 Day -6Day -5Day 0 Day -3 Day -1 Day -2

44 44 Lessons Learned Automation is essential for managing the workload of routine data processing Personnel experienced in orbit determination are required to assess the threat using multiple criteria Each event appears to be sufficiently unique such that a standardized mitigation approach cannot be adapted Each spacecraft sees a handful of conjunctions per year for which avoidance maneuver planning is considered

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