Fast Finite Solar Radiation Pressure Model Integration Using OpenGL

Jason Tichy, Abel Brown, Michael Demoret, Benjamin Schilling, David Raleigh
a.i. solutions, Inc., 10001 Derekwood Ln, Lanham, MD 20706
24th International Symposium on Space Flight Dynamics (ISSFD), 2014


   title={Fast Finite Solar Radiation Pressure Model Integration Using OpenGL},

   author={Tichy, Jason and Brown, Abel and Demoret, Michael and Schilling, Benjamin and Raleigh, David},



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By coupling a common approach to vector graphics, OpenGL, high-fidelity solar-radiation pressure (SRP) effects are calculated easily and quickly with the power of graphics processing units (GPUs). For some missions SRP is a significant perturbation and a consideration wherein a simplified plate model does not suffice. OpenGL is a set of commands that interact with the GPU and model a system as many small polygons. By modeling the spacecraft in this environment, the fidelity of the SRP model is limited only by the polygon approximation of the spacecraft and not by the computational throughput of the software. This paper demonstrates how complex SRP forces are better extracted using OpenGL methods known as shaders that yield significant improvements in speed and fidelity with respect to existing tools.
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