Three methods for the computation of the probability of collision between two space objects are presented. These methods are based on the high order Taylor expansion of the time of closest approach (TCA) and distance of closest approach (DCA) of the two orbiting objects with respect to their initial conditions. The identification of close approaches is first addressed using the nominal objects states. When a close approach is identified, the dependence of the TCA and DCA on the uncertainties in the initial states is efficiently computed with differential algebra (DA) techniques. In the first method the collision probability is estimated via fast DA-based Monte Carlo simulation, in which, for each pair of virtual objects, the DCA is obtained via the fast evaluation of its Taylor expansion. The second and the third methods are the DA version of Line Sampling and Subset Simulation algorithms, respectively. These are introduced to further improve the efficiency and accuracy of Monte Carlo collision probability computation, in particular for cases of very low collision probabilities. The performances of the methods are assessed on orbital conjunctions occurring in different orbital regimes and dynamical models. The probabilities obtained and the associated computational times are compared against standard (i.e. not DA-based) version of the algorithms and analytical methods. The dependence of the collision probability on the initial orbital state covariance is investigated as well.

A High Order Method for Orbital Conjunctions Analysis: Monte Carlo Collision Probability Computation

MORSELLI, ALESSANDRO;ARMELLIN, ROBERTO;DI LIZIA, PIERLUIGI;BERNELLI ZAZZERA, FRANCO
2015-01-01

Abstract

Three methods for the computation of the probability of collision between two space objects are presented. These methods are based on the high order Taylor expansion of the time of closest approach (TCA) and distance of closest approach (DCA) of the two orbiting objects with respect to their initial conditions. The identification of close approaches is first addressed using the nominal objects states. When a close approach is identified, the dependence of the TCA and DCA on the uncertainties in the initial states is efficiently computed with differential algebra (DA) techniques. In the first method the collision probability is estimated via fast DA-based Monte Carlo simulation, in which, for each pair of virtual objects, the DCA is obtained via the fast evaluation of its Taylor expansion. The second and the third methods are the DA version of Line Sampling and Subset Simulation algorithms, respectively. These are introduced to further improve the efficiency and accuracy of Monte Carlo collision probability computation, in particular for cases of very low collision probabilities. The performances of the methods are assessed on orbital conjunctions occurring in different orbital regimes and dynamical models. The probabilities obtained and the associated computational times are compared against standard (i.e. not DA-based) version of the algorithms and analytical methods. The dependence of the collision probability on the initial orbital state covariance is investigated as well.
Collision probability; Differential algebra; Orbital conjunction; Space debris
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/854341
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