The Spacecraft Object

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The Spacecraft object is the heart of FreeFlyer - FreeFlyer was designed expressly to aid in the design and analysis of spacecraft missions. The Spacecraft object is the "container" that holds all simulation data about a spacecraft.


Using FreeFlyer, it is possible to:

Define the initial orbit and attitude states of a Spacecraft in a variety of element sets and reference frames.

Define the physical attributes of a Spacecraft such as mass and drag area.

Propagate a Spacecraft's state through time and space using a specified integrator.

Add and configure on-board systems such as propulsion and sensors.

Control how a Spacecraft is represented in both 3D view and 2D map visualizations.



Creating and Using a Spacecraft

A Spacecraft object, like most other FreeFlyer objects, can be created and initialized either through its Object Editor or via FreeFlyer Script. The initial orbit state, attitude state, and physical properties of a spacecraft, as well as components such as tanks, thrusters, and sensors, can also be configured in these two ways. Once a Spacecraft object has been initialized, it can then be propagated forwards or backwards in time using the Step command, which advances the Spacecraft state based on a specified Integrator and ForceModel or Ephemeris. Ultimately, a detailed analysis of a Spacecraft's motion and interaction with its environment over time can be performed.