The DSS Application is a computer program comprising a Windows version of the UNIX-based Decelerator System Simulation (DSS) coupled with an Excel front end. The DSS is an executable code that simulates the dynamics of air-dropped cargo from first motion in an aircraft through landing. The bare DSS is difficult to use; the front end makes it easy to use. All inputs to the DSS, control of execution of the DSS, and postprocessing and plotting of outputs are handled in the front end. The front end is graphics-intensive.

The Excel software provides the graphical elements without need for additional programming. Categories of input parameters are divided into separate tabbed windows. Pop-up comments describe each parameter. An error-checking software component evaluates combinations of parameters and alerts the user if an error results. Case files can be created from inputs, making it possible to build cases from previous ones. Simulation output is plotted in 16 charts displayed on a separate worksheet, enabling plotting of multiple DSS cases with flight-test data. Variables assigned to each plot can be changed. Selected input parameters can be edited from the plot sheet for quick sensitivity studies.

This program was written by Peter Cuthbert of Johnson Space Center. MSC-24014-1