The system resulting from the Phase I and II stages of this work will provide the aerospace community with a tool designed to capitalize on evolving computer hardware systems. The system will scale to anticipated state-of-the-art multicore technologies, run on commonly used portable and desktop based hardware and operating systems, and enable the rapid processing of compute cycle intensive analyses. NASA users of this system will benefit from a software solution incorporating GMAT's proven software components running efficiently on evolving computer platforms, capable of scaling as needed to address compute intensive pieces of analysis like: (1) Launch window analyses, providing tuned solutions over large sets of potential launch epochs, (2) Dispersion analyses, allowing modeling of many trajectories at once based on varying orbital parameters from maneuvers, environmental factors, and insertion errors, (3)Large scale targeting problems, involving many variables and goals that need to be evaluated in order to find and optimize viable orbital solutions to mission goals, and (4) Mission analyses that require precision numerical propagation of many objects simultaneously for collision avoidance in Earth orbit. Since the new components are built on the existing GMAT architecture, NASA users will also have access to the extensibility features of GMAT, including the ability to build plug-in components that can run in the parallel processing environment created by this work.
The benefits described above for NASA users of the system also benefit other users in the aerospace community. In addition, Thinking Systems regularly receives support requests from GMAT users at industry and educational institutions. These users ask about potential new features for the tool, including options for adding optimization algorithms, targeting of deep space missions, modeling of attitude, and parametric studies for missions to asteroids and other bodies. This work will create a tool designed for efficient parallelization of proven GMAT capabilities for these users as well. One side benefit of the work proposed here is the cross platform approach we plan to take for the system user interface. The current GMAT graphical user interface is only tested and debugged on Windows based computers. Thinking Systems plans to build the parallel processing user interface using a much more stable user interface tool than is used for the current GMAT GUI. The teams requesting GMAT support from Thinking Systems usually operate in a Linux environment, and the development of a stable and tested multiplatform GMAT interface will address the needs expressed by those teams, along with the needs of users of Mac computers.