The MAnE GUI provides a common framework within which the many components of the environment are integrated. The framework provides an organized presentation of the input required for a given environment component and a convenient method to execute the component and retrieve the relevant results. This visual approach enhances understanding of the component and of the problem being addressed and significantly reduces instances of missing or erroneous inputs.
The backdrop of the MAnE GUI is one of the four windows of the trajectory optimization component. The default window is the Mission Definition window used to describe the mission being analyzed and optimized. The mission is defined using Drag-and-Drop and Point-and-Click methods to the greatest extent possible. The figure below shows the Mission Definition window for the first ten legs of the MESSENGER mission, a Discovery mission designed by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Click here to learn more about the MESSENGER mission.
Once the mission is defined, remaining input parameters are provided in the Independent Parameters, End Conditions and Mass and Propulsion Parameters, as seen in the following three figures.
These windows are supplemented with auxiliary input windows as necessary. Note the common toolbox of operations that appears in each of the windows. Other components of the environment are accessible from the bar menu and from the toolbox. Numerous textual reports produced by MAnE are accessible via the Output button of the toolbox. Graphical reports of the results produced by MAnE include the ecliptic projection of spacecraft and ephemeris body orbits. The figure below shows the ecliptic projection for the MESSENGER mission mentioned above.
MAnE also provides utility programs to map single leg trajectories over ranges of departure and arrival dates and to produce contour charts from these maps. The figure below displays the total mission rendezvous propulsion requirements contours for both direct and 1+ revolution transfers to the asteroid Nereus, arriving in the time period surrounding its 2009 perihelion.
Most utility programs included in MAnE produce both textual and graphical reports.