# A PASSIVE SAFETY APPROACH TO EVALUATE SPACECRAFT RENDEZVOUS MISSION RISK

Orbital rendezvous enables spacecraft to perform missions to service satellites, remove space debris, resupply space stations, and return samples from other planets. These missions are often considered high risk due to concerns that the two spacecraft will collide if the maneuvering capability of one spacecraft is compromised by a fault.

In this thesis, a passive safety analysis is used to evaluate the probability that a fault that compromises maneuvering capability results in a collision. For a rendezvous

mission, the chosen approach trajectory, state estimation technique, and probability of collision calculation each impact the total collision probability of the mission. This

thesis presents a modular framework for evaluating the comparing the probability of collision of rendezvous mission design concepts.

Trade studies were performed using a baseline set of approach trajectories, and a Kalman Filter for relative state estimation and state estimate uncertainty. The state covariance matrix following each state update was used to predict the resulting probability of collision if a fault were to occur at that time. These trade studies emphasize that the biggest indicator of rendezvous mission risk is the time spent on a nominal intercept trajectory.

In this thesis, a passive safety analysis is used to evaluate the probability that a fault that compromises maneuvering capability results in a collision. For a rendezvous

mission, the chosen approach trajectory, state estimation technique, and probability of collision calculation each impact the total collision probability of the mission. This

thesis presents a modular framework for evaluating the comparing the probability of collision of rendezvous mission design concepts.

Trade studies were performed using a baseline set of approach trajectories, and a Kalman Filter for relative state estimation and state estimate uncertainty. The state covariance matrix following each state update was used to predict the resulting probability of collision if a fault were to occur at that time. These trade studies emphasize that the biggest indicator of rendezvous mission risk is the time spent on a nominal intercept trajectory.

## History

## Degree Type

- Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics

## Department

- Aeronautics and Astronautics

## Campus location

- West Lafayette