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Recommendations for astrophysical simulation software.

  1. May 24, 2014 #1
    Good morning/afternoon/evening to all,

    I have a question for those more familiar with simulation software. Allow me to elaborate on my situation:

    My professor and I have nearly completed our journal submission on space photonic laser thrusters, and we have built upon recent ideas brought about within the last decade or so. To give a bit more 'oomph' to our paper, we'd like to incorporate some kind of simulation software that we could test our ideas on a particular model of solar sail that we have designed. Due to the lack of access to a suitable vacuum chamber (and to save money on actually building this design), we feel this is our only route in attaining some kind of usable data to add to our submission.

    What we are specifically looking for is some kind of software that allows for the creation of user-designed objects in a fairly-realistically interplanetary space simulation. If we could find a program where we could "build" our design and launch from the orbit of Mercury and Earth with realistic vacuum environments, it would be invaluable to adding to the community's knowledge on the subject.

    Is there any particular simulation software (expensive is acceptable, we have plenty of grant money to use) that would allow us to easily do this? I would be extremely grateful if anyone familiar with the topic could point us in the right direction.

    Thank you all for your time, and I hope that you enjoy your weekend.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 24, 2014 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Check out Open Source Physics at www.compadre.org/osp

    There many examples of physics based simulations and visual components to support whatever view you from a simple plot to 2D and 3D views. It requires knowledge of java but it's not that hard develop a working simulation. Ther are also many examples and a couple of supporting books available.

    Alternatively, you could consider using MATLAB or Octave and associated add-on packages.

    Lastly, you could consider using Processing.org to with its open gl graphics library.

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