Julia Language 1.1 Ephemeris Reader and Gravitational Modeling Program for Solar System Bodies

Parker Landon, Brennan Gray, Tristan Minkoff, and Dr. Kaela Martin College of Engineering, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, AZ 86301, USA

Julia is a new programming language designed for numerical computing, combining simplicity and the ease of dynamic languages with the speed of compiled languages. Julia version 1.0 was released in August of 2018, marking the first stable version of the language. Julia’s ability to handle large amounts of data provides the perfect language to create an ephemeris reader. Ephemeris readers are used in astrodynamics to access hundreds of years’ worth of celestial body data. An ephemeris and constant reader, capable of retrieving data for major and small bodies, does not yet exist in Julia. Creating such a tool in Julia would provide later projects with a convenient and functional package to automate many tasks in astrodynamics. With user inputs, this tool stores information from The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) databases, then outputs the specific information about a body. Julia 1.1 has allowed for many improvements which include decreasing the code’s runtime and new gravitational field modeling. The most recent addition, gravitational field modeling, uses both polyhedral models and spherical harmonics to calculate the fields. Our team’s newest version can now calculate additional sets of harmonics to more accurately represent the field.  Using the Database of Asteroid Models from Inversion Techniques (DAMIT), the code can produce three-dimensional models of asteroids. DAMIT provides coordinates for the asteroid, the reader then utilizes DAMIT to provide an accurate gravitational model. This project will be useful to create a tool, available to all users, in the open-source Julia language. Additionally, with faster run times, designers can more efficiently use Julia to their advantage. The knowledge of celestial bodies and their gravitational models within one program will help reduce the cost and increase efficiency in astrodynamics and space trajectory optimization.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Parker Landon

Institution: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Type: Poster

Subject: Engineering

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 6
Date/Time: Tue 2:00pm-3:00pm
Session Number: 4587