Automated Detection and Response Tools for Co-orbiting Satellite Threats

Period of Performance: 04/02/2008 - 04/01/2010


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Princeton Satellite Systems
6 Market St. Suite 926
Plainsboro, NJ 08536
Principal Investigator


Defensive counter space requires the continual observation, identification and assessment of potential threats. Resource management decisions must be made, either autonomously or by mission commanders, to protect satellite assets as threat information evolves in real time. This proposal is for an innovative model-based automated resource management system, that combines threat detection, response algorithms, and operator-assistive visual displays to protect satellites from close-orbiting threats. In Phase 1, the concept of conducting onboard threat detection and evasive maneuver planning was demonstrated. An estimator was developed to perform onboard detection of maneuver pulses of a close-orbiting threats using RADAR or LADAR systems, and fuel-optimal maneuver planning algorithms were developed to evade the detected threat. In Phase 2, these capabilities will be expanded in several areas. Detailed parametric models of space assets and attack satellites will be developed to facilitate in-depth analysis of algorithm performance. Response algorithms to plan evasive maneuvers will be enhanced to account for station-keeping objectives, pursuing attack vehicles, and more accurate models. Fault detection methods such as parity space and detection filters will be evaluated against estimators for performance in maneuver detection. The resulting software frameworks will be integrated to form a simulation testbed for evaluating defensive counterspace scenarios with close-orbiting threats.