Many students and researchers of satellite dynamics and control must
independently develop software simulations each time a new research project
begins. These simulations are typically built for the research task at
hand and are not easily adaptable to future projects. Furthermore, many
students have little experience developing simulations, or may not know
where to begin, where to focus, and how to best implement components so
they can be resuable between projects and for other students and engineers.
The Open-SESSAME framework addresses these issues by providing a common
groundwork upon which students can learn how simulators are implemented
and develop their own components for use in the framework for their own
The Space Systems
Simulation Laboratory (SSSL) at Virginia
Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia is working on a number of projects that
work to develop new methodologies for the simulation and analysis of spacecraft
and their associated systems.\ These projects include both hardware and
software simulation techniques used in tandem to better understand the
interplay of satellite dynamics with novel control and sensing strategies.
As a result of the unique requirements of many of the projects, a single
commercial software package has not yet fulfilled the needs of the lab.
An open-source and extensible simulation framework creates a reusable
basis for future simulation projects while also allowing the students
and researchers to configure the simulation to their unique specifications.
Furthermore, users are able to interface the simulation software with
other analysis packages that may be required for their research.