Impact: Integrated modeling of perturbations in atmospheres for conjunction tracking

Alexei Klimenko, Sean Brennan, Humberto Godinez, David Higdon, Josef Koller, Earl Lawrence, Richard Linares, David M. Palmer, Michael Shoemaker, David Thompson, Andrew Walker, Brendt Wohlberg, Moriba Jah, Eric Sutton, Thomas Kelecy, Aaron Ridley, Craig Mclaughlin

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The United States relies heavily on its space infrastructure for a vast number of applications, including communication, navigation, banking, national security, and research. However, NASA predicts that between now and 2030 orbital collisions will become increasingly frequent and could reach a runaway environment. This devastating scenario, also known as the Kessler Syndrome, has the potential to eventually destroy our assets in near-Earth space and result in a debris cloud that could make space itself inaccessible. Preventing the Kessler Syndrome requires, in addition to an object removal technique, a groundbreaking new orbital dynamics framework that combines a comprehensive physics-based model of atmospheric drag with an accurate uncertainty quantification of orbital predictions. The IMPACT project (Integrated Modeling of Perturbations in Atmospheres for Conjunction Tracking), funded by the Los Alamos National Laboratory Directed Research and Development office, has the goal to develop such an integrated system of atmospheric drag modeling, orbit propagation, and conjunction analysis with detailed uncertainty quantification to address the space debris and collision avoidance problem. We discuss the components and capabilities of the IMPACT framework and show a short demonstration of modeling interface and resulting 3D visualizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Event13th International Conference on Space Operations, SpaceOps 2014 - Pasadena, CA, United States
Duration: May 5 2014May 9 2014


Other13th International Conference on Space Operations, SpaceOps 2014
CountryUnited States
CityPasadena, CA

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