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Open Source Software

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TIPSOD is a software application designed for interactive, animated, 4D (space and time) visualization of satellite orbits. It utilizes the SSCWeb services programming interface to communicate with SSC logic and database over the open protocols of the internet. TIPSOD is implemented in Java 3D and is an extension to the existing Satellite Situation Center Web (SSCWeb) 2-D static orbit graphics. This software application makes it possible to display satellite orbits in seven coordinate systems (TOD, J2000, GEO, GM, GSE, GSM, SM). In addition to satellite orbits, the software computes and displays the Sibeck's magnetopause and Fairfield's Bow Shock surfaces. The displays are time-dependent through user activity. The program can be used as a projection or interpretation tool by the scientific community. It also has potential as an educational tool.


The main goal of the project is to extend the SSC Web display functionality. This is being accomplished by communicating with SSC using the SSCWeb Service interface to provide a 3D animated and interactive display of SSC Web orbit data.

Functional Goals

The current SSCWeb is a browser based service that provide geocentric spacecraft location information among other services. This browser interface is limited to static 2D plots of the orbit graphics and is ineffective in interfacing with other applications. The functional goals of the TIPSOD software are to include 3D interactive and animated displays, linking set of spacecraft positions as a function of time, and other functional enhancements.

Evolvability Goals

Additional capability and functional enhancements such as sonification and connection to CDAWeb science data and logic are being considered to further the relevance and usefulness of this work to the science community.

Usability Goals

TIPSOD is designed to be used by the SSCWeb user community as an extension to the current capabilities, and will increase interactivity and usability. Usability will continue to improve with changes reflecting user testing results and other inputs.

Software Packages

This software is released under the terms and conditions of the NASA Open Source Agreement (NOSA) Version 1.1 or later.

Please visit the TIPSOD Home Page for the latest version of the TIPSOD software.

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  • Page Last Updated: October 24, 2019
  • Page Editor: Adil Anis
  • NASA Official: Darryl Mitchell