Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSE)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Naga Venkat Adurthi

Committee Member

Farbod Fahimi

Committee Member

Robert A. Frederick Jr.


Space debris--Tracking, Artificial satellites--Tracking


There are thousands of objects in space with only a few sensors. Also when multiple objects are observed by a sensor, there is often an ambiguity of which measurement belongs to which object. This research intends to find a solution to this data association problem by developing a joint data association and orbit determination approach to adaptively assist the data association problem in tracking all the objects as accurately as possible. The solution studied throughout this thesis is the Multiple Hypothesis Tracker, a structure that comprises all the observations combinations. Then, a gating system of initial orbit determination, orbit determination and Kallman Filters will be used to prune unnecessary branches. Two simulations of 10 and 100 respectively were made. In both cases, the method is able to detect and track all of them. Following these good results, more work should be made toward this direction of using the Multiple Hypothesis Tracker for space object detection.



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