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Launch COLA Gap Analysis for Protection of the International Space Station

Jenkin, Alan B. 1, Mcvey, John P. 1, Peterson, Glenn E. 1, Sorge, Marlon E.1
Affiliation data not available1

Document details

Publishing year2013 PublisherESA Publishing typeConference Name of conference6th European Conference on Space Debris
Pagesn/a Volume
L. Ouwehand


For launch missions in general, a collision avoidance (COLA) gap exists between the end of the time interval covered by standard launch COLA screening and the time that other spacecraft can clear a collision with the newly launched objects. To address this issue for the International Space Station (ISS), a COLA gap analysis process has been developed. The first part of the process, nodal separation analysis, identifies launch dates and launch window opportunities when the orbit traces of a launched object and the ISS could cross during the COLA gap. The second and newest part of the analysis process, Monte Carlo conjunction probability analysis, is performed closer to the launch dates of concern to reopen some of the launch window opportunities that would be closed by nodal separation analysis alone. Both parts of the process are described and demonstrated on sample missions.