Release Notes for FreeFlyer 7.0

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New Features in FreeFlyer 7.0

Graphical Improvements

Improved the OpenGL font and 2D rendering engine

oNew shaders can now be used on more modern graphics cards to create a more realistic ViewWindow

oThe quality of the shaders used can be controlled from the User Preferences

Added the WindowOverlay object for controlling text, shapes, and image overlays on ViewWindow output windows

Added ViewWindow control over the status box and all labels

oThe status box is now a WindowOverlay

Added the ability to change the thickness of a GraphicsOverlay line

It is now possible to update the 3D model for a Spacecraft during propagation


FreeFlyer on Linux

FreeFlyer's command line interface is now available for use with Linux

Options to license FreeFlyer from within the command line interface are now available


Application Program Interface

Added the runtime Application Program Interface (API) to FreeFlyer both for Windows and Linux

Three programming languages have supported interfaces to the runtime API: C/C++, C#, and Java

Sample applications are provided with the runtime API to demonstrate how it runs Mission Plans and controls the execution of Mission Plans from within your own applications

Numerous help file guides are available to help with using the runtime API


Integrated Development Environment Improvements

Added Go To Definition support to FreeForm scripts

oRight-clicking a defined object in a FreeForm script editor and selecting Go To Definition will navigate to and highlight the definition of that item

Added Find All References support to FreeForm scripts

oRight-clicking a FreeFlyer script item and selecting Find All References will pop up a window below the script editor showing all references to that item

Added Go To Help File support to FreeForm scripts

oRight-clicking a FreeFlyer script item and selecting Go To Help File will open the Help File page relevant for that script item


Norad State Estimation

Estimates Spacecraft Norad state properties associated with a SGP4 / SDP4 propagation model using the FreeFlyer BatchLeastSquaresOD object

Also allows estimating Norad state properties directly using any observation model available in the FreeFlyer orbit determination system


Orbit Determination Improvements

Added Smoother to Unscented Kalman Filter

Vector processing of measurements in the EKF and UKF is now supported


Miscellaneous Enhancements

Added Array properties to replace numerous individual-element properties

Users now have the option to use a default user profile for recovery if the user profile becomes invalid for whatever reason

A number of new command line switches have been added for use with FF.exe related to licensing and new ways to load scripts into FreeFlyer

Implemented polynomial root finding as a method on Array and Matrix objects

There now exists a polynomial curve-fit solver for use with the Matrix object

An assortment of other bug fixes and minor enhancements were made



Migrating to FreeFlyer 7.0

While we always strive to maintain 100% backwards compatibility in our new releases, our efforts to make FreeFlyer more flexible and consistent in FreeFlyer 7.0 and higher have necessitated a few changes which may require user intervention when migrating your existing Mission Plans. These changes are outlined below.


The StringToFloat function, when called on a string that contains values split by a delimiter like "10.2 10.3 10.4", will no longer return the first float it can find, and will now error saying that it cannot convert the String to a Variable. Additionally, this function will now error correctly instead of returning 0 when an invalid String is being converted.


The default endianess for the DSN 60-Byte observation file format is now HP (big endian) format instead of PC (little endian) format. This can be changed by changing the FileEndianFormat property of the DSN60ByteObservationFile object.


A number of ground stations with invalid, retired, or removed antenna data have been removed from the stations geodetics file provided with FreeFlyer. Consult that page for a full list of the supported ground stations.


GPS Pivot Point Solution files generated by FreeFlyer now properly have all six zeroes at the end of each line instead of the four zeroes of previous versions. GPS Pivot Point Solution files generated by previous versions of FreeFlyer will still be properly ingested by FreeFlyer.


The --use-software-rendering (-usr) command line switch no longer changes the preferences setting to force all future instances of FreeFlyer to use software rendering, and now just tells FreeFlyer to use software rendering for that one launch of the software.


The necessary order of the coefficient Array passed to the SetCoefficients method of the PlotPolynomialSeries object has been reversed to better match the order these coefficients are provided in other programming languages and software.


The ViewWindow properties for ShowMapShadow, ShowMapLatLongGrid, and ForceMap2to1AspectRatio have been deprecated because these properties are no longer available at the ViewWindow level and must be set at the Viewpoint level. Having been deprecated, these properties have been removed from the ViewWindow object dialog. To adjust the values of these properties, you must adjust the respective properties of the Viewpoint sub-objects from FreeFlyer script.


Right Ascension and Declination noise specified for GroundAntenna objects are now both applied to the observations consistently as radians instead of as degrees.


In previous versions of FreeFlyer, when you created a ViewWindow and then added a Viewpoint to that ViewWindow, that Viewpoint became the default Viewpoint for that window. In FreeFlyer 7.0, a default Viewpoint already exists for all ViewWindow objects, and so adding one to the ViewWindow does not enable it by default.


Because Viewpoint.ReferenceFrame has been moved to the sub-object level, it can no longer be read from in Mission Plans and will result in an error. To work around this, read from the sub-object's ReferenceFrame property instead (ie. Viewpoint.ThreeDView.ReferenceFrame).


Viewpoint camera right ascension values such as can be accessed with Viewpoint.ThreeDView.RightAscension now have a range of [0,360), which is a change from previous versions where they accepted negative values up to -360 degrees.


Various Objects, Properties, Methods, and Functions have been deprecated

oDeprecated Objects, Properties, Methods, and Functions are elements of FreeFlyer which are no longer recommended for use. The description of each deprecated element indicates the new recommended way to achieve the functionality of that element. The complete list of affected elements is given on the Deprecated Objects, Properties, Methods, and Functions page.



See Also

Release History