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Moriba Jah – Resident Space Objects and Orbital Collision Prevention

On this episode on the Cold Star Project, hosted by Jason Kanigan, our guest is Dr. Moriba Jah. Dr. Jah had an amazing career as navigator of a number of NASA Mars missions, and is now Director, Computational Astronautical Sciences & Technologies, Oden Institute at the University of Texas at Austin.

I was referred to Dr. Jah by Fred Kennedy, past director of the US Space Development Agency, as a person “leading the charge” on space traffic management.

Show Notes

In our interview, we cover:

  • the reason current collision detection equations are so lousy, and what we can do to improve them
  • how photoacoustic sensing can be improved and used to develop Resident Space Object (RSO) signatures
  • what we need to learn before machine learning/AI can be used to identify threatening behaviors or as a forensic tool after anomalous events
  • what credibility metrics are for collision prevention, what’s missing, and why we need these
  • how Bayesian equations can be used to improve our space tracking data, orbital collision detection models and certainty
  • what curved space is, and what is challenging about modeling RSO travel within it
  • what we can investigate and build so we have a tool to estimate debris fields upon reentry–no models of which exist now.

Dr. Moriba Jah’s article on Wikipedia

Orekit database by CS Group (creator of which will be a guest on an upcoming episode)

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