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: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


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 physicsbased 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)
Title of host publicationAdvances In The Astronautical Sciences
EditorsDonald L. Mackison, Ossama Abdelkhalik, Roby S. Wilson, Renato Zanetti
PublisherUnivelt Inc.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780877036111
StatePublished - 2014
Event24th AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting, 2014 - Mexico, United States
Duration: Jan 26 2014Jan 30 2014

Publication series

NameAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
ISSN (Print)0065-3438


Other24th AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting, 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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