14 CFR § 450.169 - Launch and reentry collision avoidance analysis requirements.

§ 450.169 Launch and reentry collision avoidance analysis requirements.

(a) Criteria. Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, for an orbital or suborbital launch or reentry, an operator must establish window closures needed to ensure that the launch or reentry vehicle, any jettisoned components, or payloads meet the following requirements with respect to orbiting objects, not including any object being launched or reentered.

(1) For inhabitable objects, one of three criteria below must be met:

(i) The probability of collision between the launching or reentering objects and any inhabitable object must not exceed 1 × 106;

(ii) The launching or reentering objects must maintain an ellipsoidal separation distance of 200 km in-track and 50 km cross-track and radially from the inhabitable object; or

(iii) The launching or reentering objects must maintain a spherical separation distance of 200 km from the inhabitable object.

(2) For objects that are neither orbital debris nor inhabitable, one of the two criteria below must be met:

(i) The probability of collision between the launching or reentering objects and any object must not exceed 1 × 105; or

(ii) The launching or reentering objects must maintain a spherical separation distance of 25 km from the object.

(3) For all other known orbital debris identified by the FAA or other Federal Government entity as large objects with radar cross section greater than 1 m 2 and medium objects with radar cross section 0.1 m 2 to 1 m 2:

(i) The probability of collision between the launching or reentering objects and any known orbital debris must not exceed 1 × 105; or

(ii) The launching or reentering objects must maintain a spherical separation distance of 2.5 km.

(b) Screening time. A launch or reentry operator must ensure the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section are met as follows:

(1) Through the entire segment of flight of a suborbital launch vehicle above 150 km;

(2) For an orbital launch, during ascent from a minimum of 150 km to initial orbital insertion and for a minimum of 3 hours from liftoff;

(3) For reentry, during descent from initial reentry burn to 150 km altitude; and

(4) For disposal, during descent from initial disposal burn to 150 km altitude.

(c) Rendezvous. Planned rendezvous operations that occur within the screening time frame are not considered a violation of collision avoidance if the involved operators have pre-coordinated the rendezvous or close approach.

(d) Exception. A launch collision avoidance analysis is not required for any launched object if the maximum planned altitude by that object is less than 150 km.

(e) Analysis. Collision avoidance analysis must be obtained for each launch or reentry from a Federal entity identified by the FAA, or another entity agreed to by the Administrator.

(1) An operator must use the results of the collision avoidance analysis to establish flight commit criteria for collision avoidance; and

(2) The collision avoidance analysis must account for uncertainties associated with launch or reentry vehicle performance and timing, and ensure that each window closure incorporates all additional time periods associated with such uncertainties.

(f) Timing and information required. An operator must prepare a collision avoidance analysis worksheet for each launch or reentry using a standardized format that contains the input data required by appendix A to this part, as follows:

(1) Except as specified in paragraphs (f)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section, an operator must file the input data with an entity identified in paragraph (e) of this section and the FAA at least 7 days before the first attempt at the flight of a launch vehicle or the reentry of a reentry vehicle.

(i) Operators that have never received a launch or reentry conjunction assessment from the entity identified in paragraph (e) of this section, must file the input data at least 15 days in advance.

(ii) The Administrator may agree to an alternative time frame in accordance with § 404.15;

(2) An operator must obtain a collision avoidance analysis performed by an entity identified in paragraph (e) of this section, no later than 3 hours before the beginning of a launch or reentry window; and

(3) If an operator needs an updated collision avoidance analysis due to a launch or reentry delay, the operator must file the request with the entity identified in paragraph (e) of this section and the FAA at least 12 hours prior to the beginning of the new launch or reentry window.

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