“Parametric Studies” and “Data Table Plot View” are the names of software modules in the Satellite Orbit Analysis Program (SOAP). Parametric Studies enables parameterization of as many as three satellite or ground-station attributes across a range of values and computes the average, minimum, and maximum of a specified metric, the revisit time, or 21 other functions at each point in the parameter space. This computation produces a one-, two-, or three dimensional table of data representing statistical results across the parameter space. Inasmuch as the output of a parametric study in three dimensions can be a very large data set, visualization is a paramount means of discovering trends in the data (see figure).
Data Table Plot View enables visualization of the data table created by Parametric Studies or by another data source: this module quickly generates a display of the data in the form of a rotatable three-dimensional-appearing plot, making it unnecessary to load the SOAP output data into a separate plotting program. The rotatable three-dimensionalappearing plot makes it easy to determine which points in the parameter space are most desirable. Both modules provide intuitive user interfaces for ease of use.
This work was done by Robert Carnright, Adam Loverro, and Robert Oberto of Caltech and David Stodden and John Coggi of The Aerospace Corporation for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.