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CSSI Astrodynamicist Awarded Software Patent

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Alfano’s Patented Technology Calculates the Proximity of Rectangular Objects to Each Other in Space

Colorado Springs, CO -- The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office recently issued a patent to Salvatore Alfano, Ph.D., who serves as a senior research astrodynamicist with AGI’s Center for Space Standards & Innovation (CSSI). U.S. patent entitled "Method for Determining Maximum Conjunction Probability of Rectangular-Shaped Objects," covers this capability that calculates how close rectangular objects come to each other in space. It can be found within MATHCAD, MATLAB, and FORTRAN software.

According to Alfano, maximum conjunction probability calculations are refined by addressing rectangular object shapes, even though their orientation may not be known. Object dimensions and relative miss distance, coupled with the aspect ratio of the projected combined covariance, are used to determine the size and orientation of the covariance, as well as the object orientation that produces the maximum probability. In treating the objects as rectangles instead of spheres, the probability calculation becomes more realistic by accounting for object shape.

About CSSI

The Center for Space Standards & Innovation (CSSI), based in Colorado Springs, CO, is the research and educational outreach arm of Analytical Graphics, Inc. (AGI), Exton, PA. It fosters mutually acceptable astrodynamic standards, enables data exchange, and creates innovative technical solutions that serve public interests in civil, commercial, academic, national, and international space communities. The team is comprised of scientists Salvatore Alfano, Ph.D.; David Finkleman, Ph.D.; T.S. Kelso, Ph.D., and David A. Vallado.

About AGI

Analytical Graphics, Inc. (AGI), Exton, PA, develops commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) analysis software for land, sea, air, and space that is relied upon by the national security and space communities in more than 32,000 worldwide installations. In addition to the STK product suite, AGI produces the desktop software applications Navigation Tool Kit and Orbit Determination Tool Kit; interactive visualization AGI Viewer software; and the embedded technology development tool 4DX. For more information about AGI or its commercially available software technologies, e-mail or explore

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