Darts++ is a computer program for solving the equations of motion of a multibody system or of a multibody model of a dynamic system. It is intended especially for use in dynamical simulations performed in designing and analyzing, and developing software for the control of, complex mechanical systems. Darts++ is based on the Spatial- Operator- Algebra formulation for multibody dynamics. This software reads a description of a multibody system from a model data file, then constructs and implements an efficient algorithm that solves the dynamical equations of the system. The efficiency and, hence, the computational speed is sufficient to make Darts++ suitable for use in real-time closed-loop simulations. Darts++ features an objectoriented software architecture that enables reconfiguration of system topology at run time; in contrast, in related prior software, system topology is fixed during initialization. Darts++ provides an interface to scripting languages, including Tcl and Python, that enable the user to configure and interact with simulation objects at run time.

This program was written by Abhinandan Jain and Christopher Lim of Caltech for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Karina Edmonds of the California Institute of Technology at (626) 395-2322. Refer to NPO-42890.

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the September, 2007 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

Read more articles from the archives here.