G-View is a 3D visualization tool for supporting spacecraft guidance, navigation, and control (GN&C) simulations relevant to small-body exploration and sampling (see figure). The tool is developed in MATLAB using Virtual Reality Toolbox and provides users with the ability to visualize the behavior of their simulations, regardless of which programming language (or machine) is used to generate simulation results. The only requirement is that multi-body simulation data is generated and placed in the proper format before applying GView.

Comet GN&C example of G-View.
G-View allows the user to visualize the behavior of a multi-body system (i.e. a spacecraft, the translations and rotations of the spacecraft body components,thruster firings, and thrust magnitude) by simultaneously showing plots of various relevant states and parameters. In G-View, the user can easily manipulate the location, zoom, translation, and direction of the camera, thus providing a wide range of options for viewing the behavior of specific spacecraft components, such as the solar panels, mechanical arms, brushwheel sampler, joints, etc.

G-View is easily modifiable and can be adjusted to specific design or simulation requirements. For example, one mode of usage is to create movie clips for a batch-collected set of data. This provides a visual aid supporting iterative design methods and an efficient tool for generating presentations. GView can also be applied to a computer simulation one frame at a time. This is especially beneficial when applied to simulation environments that require long running times. By extracting visualization data at specific time instants, the user can assess whether the simulation has the desired behavior or if something is wrong and is not worth continuing. In this manner, G-View can save significant time when simulating complex scenarios, and improve troubleshooting efficiency.

This work was done by Milan Mandic, Behcet Acikmese, and Lars Blackmore of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Daniel Broderick of the California Institute of Technology at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. NPO-47197

This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).

Spacecraft Guidance, Navigation, and Control Visualization Tool (reference NPO-47197) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

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