Release Notes for FreeFlyer 7.3

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New Features in FreeFlyer 7.3

Visualization and Output Window Enhancements

New Globe Rendering Features

Globe layers now provide complete control over how a CelestialObject like the Earth is rendered

oBuilt-in coastlines and coastline offsets at configurable distances

oBuilt-in political boundaries (countries and US states)

oAbility to define your own line layers and location marker layers


New Viewpoint Features

New rotating-pulsating Viewpoint provides a useful viewpoint for mission design in regimes such as Earth-Moon transfers

oThe new RotatingPulsatingSystem object supports mathematical conversions in the rotating-pulsating frame

Ability to set a Spacecraft as the center point for a zoomed-in 2D map Viewpoint

New configuration options for the display of the latitude/longitude grid in 2D map Viewpoints and right ascension/declination grid in star map Viewpoints


New Output Window Features

Redesigned view output properties interface

Added the ability to import and export view configurations through script or the view output properties interface

Data labels can now be added to data points in a PlotWindow

Output windows will now scale proportionally when the output workspace is resized

oThis behavior is enabled by default, but can be disabled in the user preferences on the output workspaces page

You can now move and resize a window with its window frame hidden

Added functionality to query the size and position of OutputWindow objects on the OutputLayoutManager object

Users can now take screenshots of the entire output workspace from script and the output screen GUI

All screenshots taken from exporting a view as an image may now be saved in the PDF format


New Object Visualization Features

Added support for drawing Spacecraft, CelestialObject, and GroundStation objects using an image or icon

Ability to control the annotation font and tick size for GraphicsOverlay objects


Orbit Determination

New square root information filter estimator

Ability to randomly generate states from a covariance with the CovarianceUtilities object


RF Link Analysis

New RFLink object provides radio frequency (RF) analysis capabilities between Spacecraft and GroundStation objects


Interplanetary Analysis

CelestialObject textures can now be changed at runtime

Different CelestialObject textures can now be used in different views

New global StarField instance named 'Stars' to provide user access to the built-in stars

The default star catalog has been updated


Python API

Added Python interfaces for the runtime application program interface (API)


Miscellaneous Improvements

GetFromString, GetFromFile, PutToString, and PutToFile methods are now present on every object type

Matrix QR decomposition and Solve methods

Step methods were added to Spacecraft and Formation objects

The Maneuver method was added to the Spacecraft object

An assortment of other bug fixes and minor enhancements were made


Default Timing Precision Mode

Nanosecond timing precision mode is now the default for newly created Mission Plans

oMission Plans written in millisecond timing precision mode are still supported

oNew Mission Plans can still be created in millisecond timing precision mode using the selection menu next to the new Mission Plan icon, or through the file menu

oAll FreeFlyer sample Mission Plans are now in nanosecond timing precision mode

oThe help file guides now focus on nanosecond timing precision mode for syntax examples



Migrating to FreeFlyer 7.3

While we always strive to maintain 100% backwards compatibility in our new releases, our efforts to make FreeFlyer more flexible and consistent in FreeFlyer 7.3 and higher have necessitated a few changes which may require user intervention when migrating your existing Mission Plans. These changes are outlined below.


Objects can no longer be created in the object browser of the same name as that of an object type to prevent anomalous syntax checking and parsing behavior.


As mentioned above, there is now a global instance of the StarField object, named Stars. Any user-created objects named Stars from Mission Plans created in previous versions of FreeFlyer will need to be renamed.

oIn association with this change, the ViewWindow.StarFieldFileName property no longer exists. The new syntax for loading a star catalog from file is with the Get command or the StarField.LoadCatalog() method.


Unconstraining output windows from the FreeFlyer workspace via the OutputLayoutManager object no longer erases any previously set window sizes or positions.


If you have previously turned "Show Body" and "Show Name" off for a Spacecraft object in a view in earlier versions of FreeFlyer, to replicate the old behavior you will now also have to turn "Show History" off. You can also use "Show Object" to turn off the body, name, and history all at once.


Writing out data from the DSN60ByteObservationFile now respects the endianess of the FileEndianFormat flag instead of always writing out in PC format.


The minimum OpenGL version required for FreeFlyer is now v3.0, up from v2.1 in earlier versions of the software.


The ODEstimationProcess.Covariance.Matrix property is now read-only in order to prevent unexpected behavior, because its values are overwritten by the covariance matrices of the estimated Spacecraft objects.


CelestialSystem.RecomputeBarycenter is now true by default to match the analogous property on the RotatingLibrationPoint object.


The UseLightTimeCorrection property for all observation object types is now true by default.


PlotWindow data labels are now empty by default instead of defaulting to showing the data point's value. To set the label to the data point's value, assign the point's label with the PlotScatterSeries.DataLabels property.


When you use the String.ParseCalendarDate method, the default assumed format specifier for the epoch syntax is now Mmm DD hh:mm:ss.s*[0-9] instead of Mmm DD hh:mm:ss.sss. This allows users to have additional trailing zeroes as desired in their format specifier. Epoch inputs in object dialogs have been similarly updated.


The ViewWindow.DefaultObjectLabelColor property has been removed as it did nothing in previous releases.


The ThreeDModel.IgnoreModelTransformation property has been removed due to it having no functionality as of FreeFlyer 7.1 updates to the ThreeDModel object.


All FreeFlyer-provided data files have been updated with this new release. As a result, there will be expected low order of magnitude differences in propagation and timing precision.


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