Date of Award

12-2018

Degree Name

MS in Aerospace Engineering

Department

Aerospace Engineering

Advisor

Eric Mehiel

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to design a machine learning algorithm platform that provides expanded knowledge of mission availability through a launch season by improving trajectory resolution and introducing launch mission forecasting. The specific scenario addressed in this paper is one in which data is provided for four deterministic translational maneuvers through a mission to a Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit (NRHO) with a 9:2 synodic frequency. Current launch availability knowledge under NASA’s Orion Orbit Performance Team is established by altering optimization variables associated to given reference launch epochs. This current method can be an abstract task and relies on an orbit analyst to structure a mission based off an established mission design methodology associated to the performance of Orion and NASA's Space Launch System. Introducing a machine learning algorithm trained to construct mission scenarios within the feasible range of known trajectories reduces the required interaction of the orbit analyst by removing the needed step of optimizing the orbit to fit an expected translational response required of the spacecraft. In this study, k-Nearest Neighbor and Bayesian Linear Regression successfully predicted classical orbital elements for the launch windows observed. However both algorithms had limitations due to their approaches to model fitting. Training machine learning algorithms off of classical orbital elements introduced a repetitive approach to reconstructing mission segments for different arrival opportunities through the launch window and can prove to be a viable method of launch window scan generation for future missions.

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