Available at: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/theses/1703
Date of Award
MS in Aerospace Engineering
This thesis investigates the orbital debris evolution in the geosynchronous disposal orbit regime and within geosynchronous orbits effected by the geopotential wells. A propagator is developed for the accurate simulation of GEO specific orbits and the required perturbations are determined and described. Collisions are then simulated in the selected regimes using a low velocity breakup model derived from the NASA EVOLVE breakup model. The simulations described in this thesis consider a set of perturbations including the geopotential, solar and lunar gravity, and solar radiation pressure forces. This thesis is based on a prior paper and additionally seeks to address an issue in simulating East-West trapped objects. The results show that this propagator successfully simulates the presence of all wells and the East-West entrapment, and the required perturbations are outlined. Five collision test cases were simulated, one for each type of entrapment and an additional for the disposal orbit.