Tech Briefs

Software for Engineering Simulations of a Spacecraft

Spacecraft Engineering Simulation II (SES II) is a C-language computer program for simulating diverse aspects of operation of a spacecraft characterized by either three or six degrees of freedom. A functional model in SES can include a trajectory flight plan; a submodel of a flight computer running navigational and flight-control software; and submodels of the environment, the dynamics of the spacecraft, and sensor inputs and outputs. SES II features a modular, object-oriented programming style. SES II supports event-based simulations, which, in turn, create an easily adaptable simulation environment in which many different types of trajectories can be simulated by use of the same software. The simulation output consists largely of flight data. SES II can be used to perform optimization and Monte Carlo dispersion simulations. It can also be used to perform simulations for multiple spacecraft. In addition to its generic simulation capabilities, SES offers special capabilities for space-shuttle simulations: for this purpose, it incorporates submodels of the space-shuttle dynamics and a C-language version of the guidance, navigation, and control components of the space-shuttle flight software.

This program was written by Kirk Shireman and Gene McSwain of Johnson Space Center, and Bernell McCormick and Panayiotis Fardelos of the Boeing Co. For further information, contact the Johnson Technology Transfer Office at (281) 483-3809. MSC-23537