The ability to visualize the interactions between multiple chaser and target satellites is vital to successful mission planning and execution in rendezvous and proximity operations. This summer, a Palski intern project team aimed to create a new three-dimensional waypoint planning tool as an addition to Palski’s current two-dimensional waypoint planning tool. The current tool provides the ability to visualize RPO operations between a single chaser and target in the RIC frame by allowing the user to generate or load custom waypoint plans. In addition to providing these same features in an easier-to-understand three-dimensional environment, new features were added. Some of these new features included dynamic time change control, constraint visualization, multi-chaser capability, and a new quick GUI that allows easy editing of plans.
To create this new tool, various software and programming architectures were utilized throughout the internship. The three interns gained a lot of valuable knowledge about programming languages, practices, and applications. The 2DWPP is comprised of many different components, which required diligent research to become familiar within the framework of the Palski suite of Web Application tools. The time they spent understanding the functionality of the 2D Planner was essential in the development of the 3DWPP. In addition to programming, they also learned more about the space industry and the technologies used to conduct satellite operations. In addition to the hard skills learned, the they also improved their collaboration and teamwork skills. They thoroughly enjoyed the internship, project, and company, and can’t wait for Palski to start using the new and improved 3D Waypoint Planner.