Visualizing Satellite Dynamics in Virtual Reality

Project Description:

In higher level mechanics courses, engineers are asked to visualize complex motions of 3 dimensional bodies which are often simplest understand as a satellite. I propose creating an educational tool which allows students to visualize a satellites motion in three dimensions in order to better understand the dynamics which simulate these bodies. Although the derivation of the math is fairly high level, the equations themselves are straightforward and have been solved explicitly allowing for easy integration into a program. There would be several parameters which you would be able to change as desired and the motion of the satellite would change as you manipulated these parameters.

The simulation itself would be straightforward, all that’s required is using VR to drop someone in front of a satellite which is rotating with in front of them. The motion of the satellite would be independent of the user and be entirely affected by parameters which could be changed in a separate interface (this could be through direct input from a computer, a menu which is navigated through using a controller, etc.).

It’s a project that doesn’t require an excessive amount of technical skill or experience in order to create a very high quality product that can be used immediately in the education of students at the University and would be used long after the graduation of the developers.

What Currently Exists



What I’d Like to See

eutelsat-quantum-credit-airbus-1500pCurrent animations for education

Project Type: Simulation

Interest: Bring Virtual Reality to Higher Ed to better Educate Students

Device(s) to Be Used: Any type of fully immersive visual VR (Occulus, HTC Vibe, Google Cardboard) [ I’m particularly interested in using the HTC Vibe at the moment but am open to whatever gets the job done in the most effective way]

Things I Know How To Do: I know how to do the dynamics (it’s not that bad :D), Creating 3D Models, Web, Java, and Python Programming Experience, Experience Developing UI’s

Things I Would Need Help With: Unity, Ideas about the best way to implement and create the UI, Implementing the Physics of the System, Ensuring that the perspective the user takes doesn’t change the quality or accuracy of the visuals, Creating Models to use in the Simulation, and also everything else that comes with creating a quality simulation