This program simulates the Solar System, showing well-known major and minor bodies. The major purpose of the program is to calculate various types of transfers. It can calculate ballistic transfers between planets and moons, and powered (constant acceleration) transfers between stars. It can also calculate propagation delay due to the absolute speed of light between planets and moons. Think of it as Google Maps for space – except space has three dimensions, not two, and everything’s moving all the time.
The PTC has been tested with a number of academics, students and hobbyists. The most significant, and to some degree ongoing, issue is with the loading speed: a function of the power of the user’s computer as the code has been heavily optimised. Other than that the feedback has been positive. The Director of Space Engineering at Sydney University said “Just show this to Elon Musk and he’ll offer you a job straight away.”, and “The Transfer calculator is already an exceptional work! It’s hard to improve on such a good application!”. Ian Davies said “I liked the clarity of the user interface, and the way the user acquires a better understanding of orbital mechanics through the ability to experiment and try different things. The graphics is excellent and the performance is very acceptable for a browser-based project. The physics seems very solid. It is an impressive piece of work.”
Overview of the project
Currently, a beta of PTC V4.0 is in development, and can be tried at the link below. Version 3 includes features such as being able to center on the ship, an actual detailed ship, and other cool features!
Beta: Beta Version