The Platform Independent Software Components for the Exploration of Space (PISCES) software library provides for web-based, collaborative development of computer programs for planning trajectories and other trajectory-related aspects of spacecraft-mission design. The PISCES library was built using state-of-the-art object-oriented concepts and software-development methodologies. The components of PISCES include Java-language application programs that implement trajectory-propagation algorithms, including gravity models, atmosphere models, planetary ephemerides, and orbital propagation. Extensive generalized rendezvous-planning software is also included. These components are arranged in a hierarchy of classes that facilitates the re-use of the components in planning trajectories. As its full name suggests, the first advantage of the PISCES library is platform-independence: By using the "write once, run anywhere" capability of Java, anyone can use the classes and application programs with a Java virtual machine, which is available in most web-browser programs. The second advantage of the library is expandability: Object orientation facilitates the expansion of the library through the simple creation of a new class.
This work was done by Don Pearson and Dustin Hamm of Johnson Space Center, with support from Jonathan K. Weaver of JSC and Brad Holcomb and Brian Kubena of Lockheed Martin. For further information, access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at www.nasatech.com/tsp under the Software category.