Tag Archive for 'Gridding'

New Feature: Coverage
(Massively Parallel Access Calculations)

One of the great features coming soon in AGI Components is Coverage analysis.  I am going to talk a bit here about what Coverage is, what you can do with it, and what sort of features will be coming in the components.  Coverage is a term used by James Wertz and Wiley Larson in Space Mission Analysis and Design (or SMAD for short).  Here is what SMAD has to say:

"Earth coverage refers to the part of the Earth that a spacecraft instrument or antenna can see at one instant or over an extended period.  The coverage available for a particular location or region is frequently a key element in mission design." p 163

So essentially, Coverage is a means by which we can take a set of resources or "assets" and analyze their ability to observe (and possibly interact) with a set of locations (or objects) on the ground.  Numerically, this usually entails representing a given area on the surface of the Earth (or other CentralBody) as a set of grid points.  What this means is hundreds if not thousands of access calculations happening in parallel between each grid point and any number of time-dynamic 'assets'.  The goal is to allow the user to conveniently assemble the problem and run the analysis without having to manually configure each access calculation.  SMAD goes on to talk about the use of "Figures of Merit" (p173) which represent scalar fitness values based on statistical analysis of the results of the coverage computation.  This allows the user to effectively analyze and design complex missions based on various fitness criteria.

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