Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy

, Volume 118, Issue 2, pp 99–114

Analytical formulation of impulsive collision avoidance dynamics

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10569-013-9526-3

Cite this article as:
Bombardelli, C. Celest Mech Dyn Astr (2014) 118: 99. doi:10.1007/s10569-013-9526-3


The paper deals with the problem of impulsive collision avoidance between two colliding objects in three dimensions and assuming elliptical Keplerian orbits. Closed-form analytical expressions are provided that accurately predict the relative dynamics of the two bodies in the encounter b-plane following an impulsive delta-V manoeuvre performed by one object at a given orbit location prior to the impact and with a generic three-dimensional orientation. After verifying the accuracy of the analytical expressions for different orbital eccentricities and encounter geometries the manoeuvre direction that maximises the miss distance is obtained numerically as a function of the arc length separation between the manoeuvre point and the predicted collision point. The provided formulas can be used for high-accuracy instantaneous estimation of the outcome of a generic impulsive collision avoidance manoeuvre and its optimisation.


Collision avoidance Space debris Perturbation theory Orbit propagation COLA manoeuvre Relative dynamics Iridium-Cosmos collision 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Associate, ETSI AeronauticosTechnical University of MadridMadridSpain

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