2009

Video-Game-Like Engine for Depicting Spacecraft Trajectories

GoView is a video-game-like software engine, written in the C and C++ computing languages, that enables real-time, three-dimensional (3D)-appearing visual representation of spacecraft and trajectories (1) from any perspective; (2) at any spatial scale from spacecraft to Solar-system dimensions; (3) in user-selectable time scales; (4) in the past, present, and/or future; (5) with varying speeds; and (6) forward or backward in time. GoView constructs an interactive 3D world by use of spacecraft-mission data from pre-existing engineering software tools. GoView can also be used to produce distributable application programs for depicting NASA orbital missions on personal computers running the Windows XP, Mac OsX, and Linux operating systems.

GoView enables seamless rendering of Cartesian coordinate spaces with programmable graphics hardware, whereas prior programs for depicting spacecraft trajectories variously require non-Cartesian coordinates and/or are not compatible with programmable hardware. GoView incorporates an algorithm for nonlinear interpolation between arbitrary reference frames, whereas the prior programs are restricted to special classes of inertial and non-inertial reference frames. Finally, whereas the prior programs present complex user interfaces requiring hours of training, the GoView interface provides guidance, enabling use without any training.

This work was done by Paul R. Upchurch of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

In accordance with Public Law 96-517, the contractor has elected to retain title to this invention. Inquiries concerning rights for its commercial use should be addressed to:

Innovative Technology Assets Management
JPL
Mail Stop 202-233
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109-8099
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Refer to NPO-45274, volume and number of this NASA Tech Briefs issue, and the page number.