Release Notes

Table of Contents

GMAT R2015a Release Notes
New Features
Compatibility Changes
Development and Tools
Known & Fixed Issues
GMAT R2014a Release Notes
New Features
Compatibility Changes
Known & Fixed Issues
GMAT R2013b Release Notes
New Features
Compatibility Changes
Known & Fixed Issues
GMAT R2013a Release Notes
Major Improvements
Minor Enhancements
Compatibility Changes
Known & Fixed Issues
GMAT R2012a Release Notes
New Features
Compatibility Changes
Known & Fixed Issues
GMAT R2011a Release Notes
New Features
Compatibility Changes
Fixed Issues
Known Issues

GMAT R2015a Release Notes

The General Mission Analysis Tool (GMAT) version R2015a was released Nov 2015. This is the first public release since July 2014, and is the 9th release for the project.

Below is a summary of key changes in this release. Please see the full R2015a Release Notes on JIRA for a complete list.

New Features

GMAT Functions

You can now write functions (sub-routines) in the GMAT script language. This powerful feature greatly expands the practical capability of the system and makes maintaining complex configurations simpler. This feature also enables sharing GMAT script utilities among among projects. If you need a new math computation, want to isolate a complex section of code, or re-use code, GMAT functions are a great solution.

See the Using GMAT Functions tutorial for more information.

Eclipse Location

GMAT now supports eclipse location. Under the hood GMAT calls NAIF SPICE routines. Thanks to the NAIF for making this great functionality available.

See the Eclipse Locator reference for more information.

Station Contact Location

GMAT now supports station contact location. Under the hood GMAT calls NAIF SPICE routines. Thanks to the NAIF for making this great functionality available.

See the Contact Locator reference for more information.

Python Interface

GMAT now supports an interface with Python. The power of the Python ecosystem can now be used with GMAT.

See the Python reference for more information.

Electric Propulsion

GMAT now supports modelling of electric propulsion systems. Below is an examle showing GMAT modelling a cube-sat with electric propulsion in a lunar weak-stablity orbit. You can model electric tanks, thrusters, and power systems (both Solar and nuclear).

See the Electric Propulsion tutorial for more information.

SNOPT Optimizer

GMAT now interfaces to Stanford Business Software, Inc. SNOPT Optimizer

See the SNOPT reference for more information.

Space Weather Modelling

You can now provide flux files for drag modelling including Schatten historical files and Center for Space Standards and Innovation (CSSI) Space Weather Files. This greatly improves long term orbital predictions and reconstructions in the Earth's atmosphere.

See the Propagator reference for more information.

Celestial Body 3-D Graphics Models

You can now use a 3D model for celestial bodies in 3-D graphics.

See the Celestial Body reference for more information.

Solver Status Window

GMAT now displays a window showing solver variables and constraint values during execution. This helps track the progress of targeters and optimizers and is an important aid in troubleshooting convergence issues.



We've written over 70 pages of new, high-quality user documentation! We've also written two conference papers documenting our verification and validation process and results, and the flight qualification program and results for the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE). Conference papers are located in the "docs" folder of the distribution.

Training Videos

We've posted training videos on YouTube . You can now take GMAT training even if you are unable to attend the live classes!

Other Improvements

  • You can now optionally apply an ImpulsiveBurn in the backwards direction which is convenient when targeting backwards in time.

  • GMAT is distributed with beta plugin Polyhedral gravity model.

  • The system now looks in the working directory for scripts run from the command line

  • You can now reference supporting files relative to the script file location for ease in sharing complex configurations.

  • You can now define an minimum elevation angle for a groundstation used in event location and estimation.

  • The appearance of constellations in 3-D graphics has been improved.

  • The 3-D model scaling sensitivity in the GUI has been improved.

  • The behavior of the GUI when using large fonts has been improved.

Compatibility Changes

  • The ChemicalTank Resource has been renamed to ChemicalTank to distinguish between chemical and electric systems.

  • The ChemicalThruster Resource has been renamed to ChemicalThruster to distinguish between chemical and electric systems.

  • The sensitivity of Spacecraft Resource settings such as ModelOffsetX, ModelRotationY, and ModelScale has changed in 3-D graphics.

  • When applying an ImpulsiveBurn during backwards targeting, GMAT now attempts to compute maneuver values that are consistent with a forward targeting approach. The maneuver values reference the pre-manevuer velocity components instead of the post-maneuver components.

Development and Tools

Developer Documenation

We've added extensive documentation describing how to add new Resources and Commands to GMAT. Resources and Commands are key to GMAT development and application. This documentation is essential reading for making fundamental extensions to GMAT. See the wiki documentation for details.

Developer Tools and Dependencies

We developed a new CMake-based build system that is used on all platforms. The CMake configuration is maintained by the GMAT team and distributed with the source code. Thanks to CMake, it is much easier to compile GMAT. See the wiki documentation for details.

We updated SPICE to version N0065 and updated WxWidgets to version 3.0.2.

GMAT Stuff

You can now purchase clothing and other items with the GMAT logo via ©Land's End, Inc at the GSFC Store . Once, you've chosen an item, make sure to select the GMAT logo!

Known & Fixed Issues

Over 215 bugs were closed in this release. See the "Critical Issues Fixed in R2015a" report for a list of critical bugs and resolutions in R2015a. See the "Minor Issues Fixed for R2015a" report for minor issues addressed in R2015a.

Known Issues

All known issues that affect this version of GMAT can be seen in the "Known Issues in R2015a" report in JIRA.

There are several known issues in this release that we consider to be significant:

GMT-5253GMAT stuck in script state after bad script load.
GMT-5269Atmosphere model affects propagation at GEO.
GMT-2561UTC Epoch Entry and Reporting During Leap Second is incorrect.
GMT-3043Inconsistent validation when creating variables that shadow built-in math functions
GMT-3289First step algorithm fails for backwards propagation using SPK propagator
GMT-3350Single-quote requirements are not consistent across objects and modes
GMT-3669Planets not drawn during optimization in OrbitView
GMT-3738Cannot set standalone FuelTank, Thruster fields in CallMatlabFunction
GMT-4520Unrelated script line in Optimize changes results (causes crash)
GMT-4408Failed to load icon file and to open DE file
GMT-4520Coordinate System Fixed attitudes are held constant in SPAD SRP model during a propagation step