NASA/USRA Design Project: Computer Graphics Group, Spring, 1987.
Byrne, Russell H.
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Much progress has been made by the Computer Graphics Group of the NASA/USRA Design Team at the University of Maryland during the 1986-87 school year. Under the direction of Dr. P.S. Krishnaprasad, the following milestones have been reached: 1). The graphical simulation for the space station now includes a simple solar system (sun, earth, moon) that contains the space station and its associated free-flying robot, the orbital Maneuvering Vehicle (OMV). 2). The Space Station is now displayed directly from its IGES description, so that future changes in configuration may be easily handled; 3) Co-orbiting with the station is the OMV, which employs fourteen degrees of freedom (six for its body, and four for each of two arms). 4) The earth is now displayed with an outlined drawing of its continents, so that orbital dynamics problems may be simulated, such as the rendezvous problem. 5) A Dynamical Simulation of the Two Body problem has been implemented. Using a VAX 11/785 for the numerical routines and the IRIS 2400 for the display device, the simulation makes use of the 'rsh' mechanism of UNIX^1 for distributing the processing tasks. 6) Many new menu options are available which give users added flexibility. New code under development will create a versatile simulation environment complete with smart buffers, nested menus, and a windowing environment. This will enable users to change simulation parameters for simulation modules running on a different host in the distributed processing network, and allow users to see the new displayed results, without terminating the display program.