Parallel Computing for Space Surveillance
In "Proceedings of the 1992 Space Surveillance Workshop" A. J. Coster and K. P. Schwann, eds., Project Report STK-193
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This paper reports on an application of massively parallel processors to multiple satellite propagation and the calculation of miss distances between objects (COMBO). Unlike serial computations, we do not pre-filter the data but rather sort the data set in a way that dramatically cuts the number of comparisons required in order to be assured of a complete catalog-to-catalog comparison. The same general algorithm allows two logical sets to be compare to each other. Run time for this demonstration code on an 8K Connection Machine is about one second per time step, including propagation, complete catalog-to-catalog calculation of miss distances, plotting satellite positions, and recording of the miss distances to a file. Propagation of the objects is performed with an analytic propagator, using J2 only at present, though the code may easily be extended to other propagators. We demonstrate a second application of parallel computing to the problem of debris propagation resulting from a satellite breakup. The spread of such debris into n pieces is simulated by replicating the element set for the original satellite n times, then altering each to represent a distribution of velocities to the center of mass.