Applications are invited for a 3 year PhD studentship in Space Engineering, at Cranfield University, in the field of Space Surveillance and Traffic Management. The project will aim to develop technologies and algorithms enabling an autonomous system of space traffic surveillance and management.
The recent development and deployment of mega-constellations, with the consequent increase of the number of satellites, imposes new challenges in terms of simultaneous tracking capability and readiness of the current space situational awareness systems. This adds to the current need to track small and dangerous objects to mitigate further the probability of triggering cascade collisions that can compromise the future utilisation of certain space regions. Collision forecasting currently has relatively large degrees of uncertainty, causing satellite operators to often ignore collision warnings. An improvement of the current space situational awareness capabilities is foreseen as a necessary step to enable autonomous space traffic management solutions capable of handling and mitigating multiple and frequent threats by autonomously planning collision avoidance manoeuvres. This research will explore ground-based and space-based technologies that could enhance the current space domain awareness capabilities.