Space Object Behavior Quantification and Assessment for Space Security

Living reference work entry


As the spacefaring community is well aware, the increasingly rapid proliferation of human-made objects in space, whether active satellites or debris, threatens the safe and secure operation of spacecraft and requires that we change the way we conduct business in space. The introduction of appropriate protocols and procedures to regulate the use of space is predicated on the availability of quantifiable and timely information regarding the behavior of resident space objects (RSO): the basis of space domain awareness (SDA). Yet despite six decades of space operations, and a growing global dependence on the services provided by space-based platforms, the population of Earth orbiting space objects is still neither rigorously nor comprehensively quantified, and the behaviors of these objects, whether directed by human agency or governed by interaction with the space environment, are inadequately characterized.

Key goals of advanced SDA are to develop a capability to predict RSO behavior, extending SDA beyond its present paradigm of catalog maintenance and forensic analysis, and to arrive at a comprehensive physical understanding of all of the inputs that affect the motion of RSOs. Solutions to these problems require transdisciplinary engagement that combines space surveillance data with other information, including space object databases and space environmental data, to help decision-making processes predict, detect, and quantify threatening and hazardous space domain activity.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Aerospace Engineering & Engineering MechanicsThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Maarten Adriaensen
    • 1
  1. 1.European Space AgencyParisFrance

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