The Geometry of a Satellite-Ballistic Missile Engagement

by Michael D. Miller

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This Note describes in mathematical terms the dynamic geometry between a constellation of satellites deployed for ballistic missile defense (BMD) and the missiles the satellites are engaging. Formulas, readily translatable into computer code, are given for such engagement parameters as slant range, closing velocity, and line-of-sight incidence angle in terms of satellite and missile position and velocity data. These formulas are the foundation of a model developed at Rand to support study of the BMD capability of various satellite armament concepts.

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