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CMS Special Seminar

Thursday, June 13, 2024
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Firestone 384
Orbital Carrying Capacity and its Implication on Space Sustainability
Richard Linares, Associate Professor, Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,

The rapid growth of active satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) poses challenges to safe and responsible space operations. MIT Astrodynamics, Space Robotics, and Controls Lab (ARCLab), directed by Prof. Linares, addresses these challenges through two research focus areas: the orbital packing problem and space environment modeling. This talk will focus on these two important issues. Orbital packing employs techniques from number theory to design satellite locations that inherently avoid collisions, improving space efficiency and simplifying operations. Our space environment modeling research aims to understand LEO's sustainable satellite limit and to inform stakeholder decision-making. MIT ARCLab's innovative approach employs efficient lower-fidelity models based on first-order differential equations, enabling system-wide optimizations and improved explainability of model outputs. Additionally, a state-of-the-art, high-fidelity Monte Carlo space environment model is utilized. These approaches are included in the MIT Orbital Capacity Assessment Tool (MOCAT), which is an open-source tool aimed at supporting the space sustainability community. These advancements offer a foundation for sustainable, responsible space operations at scale.

For more information, please contact Narin Seraydarian by phone at (626) 395-6580 or by email at [email protected].