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With increasing traffic in near-Earth and Cislunar space, it has become essential to develop fast and accurate methods of predicting collisions between space objects. This is an important topic of discussion in current Space Situational Awareness (SSA) domain research. Orbit determination methods provide users with a state and an uncertainty associated with an object in space. This tells the user where the spacecraft is and with what percent certainty. Because there are limited observation resources, it is essential to have the ability to propagate this information to desired times accurately. Generally, this is accomplished using numerical Monte Carlo methods, where a point cloud of millions of points is taken from the initial uncertainty and each of these points are propagated to the final time. This is highly accurate with a large number of points but adds to a high computational expense. To minimize this cost, we look for analytical and semi-analytical methods that are faster but can still reach good statistical accuracy. This seminar will focus on an introduction to SSA, collision prediction methods, and the semi-analytical toolkits developed to achieve fast and accurate collision probabilities. The target audience is students and young professionals interested in SSA research and tools.

Speaker: Yashica Khatri

Yashica Khatri has just defended her PhD at the University of Colorado Boulder, focusing in Astrodynamics and Satellite Navigation (ASN). Her research is in Space Situational Awareness (SSA), specifically, developing semi-analytical methods of conjunction analysis to predict the probability of collision with high speed and accuracy. She grew up in India and received her B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona in May 2018. At Embry-Riddle, Yashica was a part of various honors societies, diversity and educational organizations, and the ERAU’s competitive Golden Eagles Flight Team. She also started a Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE) chapter and assisted in bringing a Delta Phi Epsilon sorority chapter to the Embry-Riddle campus. She completed her M.S. at the University of Colorado Boulder in May 2020 and started the PhD with the Celestial and Spaceflight Mechanics Laboratory (CSML) soon after. Here, she was named a 2021 Amelia Earhart Fellow and a 2022 Tau Beta Pi (TBP) Fellow. At CU she has been involved with the Aerospace Graduate Student Organization (AGSO), Women of Aeronautics and Astronautics (WoAA) India, and Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC). During her undergraduate and graduate studies, Yashica interned at Merit Engineering, Collins Aerospace, OneWeb, and SpaceNav. Yashica is currently the Co-Lead of the SGAC Mentoring Program.

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