Satellite constellation design for mid-course ballistic missile intercept
Author(s)Sauter, Luke Michael, 1979-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Ronald J. Proulx.
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This thesis will establish a conceptual approach to the design of constellations for satellite-based mid-course missile defense. The ballistic missile intercept problem leads to a new paradigm of coverage where interceptor "reachability" replaces line-of-sight coverage. Interceptors in this concept are limited in their time of flight and AV capabilities. Classical design approaches, based on ground coverage, are employed to provide a priori constellations for ballistic missile defense from a postulated North Korean attack. Both symmetric and asymmetric constellation types, designed for Earth coverage, provide bounds on the number of satellites required. A detailed parametric analysis is used to explore the constellation design space. Various constellation types are optimized to maximize missile defense coverage. Both genetic algorithms and gradient-based optimization techniques are employed. Satellite-based mid-course ballistic missile defense from a regional threat is achievable with as few as 21 satellites. Additional constellation intercept statistics, such as: the number of intercepts per missile, and interceptor closing velocities, are compiled to provide a lethality index. The effective capabilities of these constellations to defend CONUS, beyond the original regional threat, are also explored. It will be demonstrated that the constellations constructed in this work are capable of providing defense from an array of threatening states about the globe. This research illustrates how known design methods and astrodynamics techniques can be used to create new and viable methods of space-based missile defense.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2004.Includes bibliographical references (p. 223-228).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Aeronautics and Astronautics.