Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering


Kira Abercromby


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.

Included in

Astrodynamics Commons