Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Aerospace Engineering Sciences

First Advisor

George H. Born

Second Advisor

Jeffrey S. Parker

Third Advisor

Daniel J. Sheeres

Fourth Advisor

Brandon A. Jones

Fifth Advisor

Webster C. Cash


Crewed navigation in certain regions of the Earth-Moon system provides a unique challenge due to the unstable dynamics and observation geometry relative to standard Earth-based tracking systems. The focus of this thesis is to advance the understanding of navigation precision in the Earth-Moon system, analyzing the observability of navigation data types frequently used to navigate spacecraft, and to provide a better understanding of the influence of a crewed vehicle disturbance model for future manned missions in the Earth-Moon system.

In this research, a baseline for navigation performance of a spacecraft in a Lagrange point orbit in the Earth-Moon system is analyzed. Using operational ARTEMIS tracking data, an overlap analysis of the reconstructed ARTEMIS trajectory states is conducted. This analysis provides insight into the navigation precision of a spacecraft traversing a Lissajous orbit about the Earth-Moon L1 point. While the ARTEMIS analysis provides insight into the navigation precision using ground based tracking methods, an examination of the benefits of introducing Linked Autonomous Interplanetary Satellite Orbit Navigation (LiAISON) is investigated. This examination provides insight into the benefits and disadvantages of LiAISON range and range-rate measurements for trajectories in the Earth-Moon system.

In addition to the characterization of navigation precision for spacecraft in the Earth-Moon system, an analysis of the uncertainty propagation for noisy crewed vehicles and quiet robotic spacecraft is given. Insight is provided on the characteristics of uncertainty propagation and how it is correlated to the instability of the Lagrange point orbit. A crewed vehicle disturbance model is provided based on either Gaussian or Poisson assumptions. The natural tendency for the uncertainty distribution in a Lagrange point orbit is to align with the unstable manifold after a certain period of propagation. This behavior is influenced directly by the unstable nature of the orbit itself.

This thesis then examines several different LiAISON mission configurations to determine the benefits and disadvantages for future crewed missions in the Earth-Moon system. The following LiAISON supplemented configurations are analyzed over a wide trade space to determine their feasibility: 1) Geosynchronous and Earth-Moon halo orbiters; 2) A crewed vehicle in an Earth-Moon L2 halo orbit with a navigation satellite orbiting another Earth-Moon Lagrange point; 3) A navigation satellite in an Earth-Moon halo orbit tracking a crewed vehicle in low lunar orbit; 4) A crewed vehicle on a trans-lunar cruise being tracked by a navigation satellite in an Earth-Moon halo orbit.