Computer Graphics Tools for the Visualization of Spacecraft Dynamics
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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This thesis consists of teaching tools designed to allow spacecraft engineering students to visualize the various phenomena associated with spacecraft dynamics. It does so via the use of state of the art three dimensional computer graphics on Silicon Graphics computers. The thesis discusses the principles in dynamics that were implemented and the key design considerations. A central goal was to develop applications that were user friendly. A library of functions were developed called Dynamics Programming Library or DPL. DPL shields the users from the details of computer graphics, thus allowing them to concentrate on the dynamics of the problem. DPL was used to write three main applications Euler, Frame, and Gyro. Euler demonstrates the representation of orientation using Euler angles and quaternion rotation. Gyro demonstrates the effects of torques applied to varying rigid body geometries and inertias. Frame allows students to view the motion of an object from different frames of reference. A group of 21 spacecraft engineering students participated in a lab exercise using these programs. Within 20 minutes, the students could run the simulations thus validating their user friendliness.
- Computer Programming and Software