Understanding and Mitigating Non-Cooperative Close Approaches in Geosynchronous Orbit

Thursday, January 12, 2023

SWF Director of Program Planning Dr. Brian Weeden recently published a new article in the Journal Aether on understanding and mitigating non-cooperative rendezvous and proximity operations (RPOs) in geosynchronous orbit. The article was co-authored with Ms. Kaitlyn Johnson from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and Mr. Thomas Roberts from MIT and stems from their work to develop the Satellite Dashboard.

The article provides an overview of RPOs and why non-cooperative RPOs with another nation’s satellite could exacerbate geopolitical tensions or lead to unwanted escalation. In order to help policymakers deal with this challenge, the article presents a new taxonomy for categorizing RPOs and evaluates the technical and policy aspects of four specific policy options for dealing with them: improving space situational awareness (SSA), developing patterns of life for GEO space activities, creating keep-out zones, and using guardian satellites.

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Last updated on January 16, 2023