The information below is intended to give new contributors some direction in how they can contribute from simple enhancements to existing functionality to major feature development. We use JIRA for tracking requests for improvements to GMAT.
The topics below are areas where GMAT could use further development but the GMAT team does not have the resources to do the job right. We routinely get requests for these types of items, but they haven't risen to the required priority level to obtain funding and time to work on them. That doesn't mean they're not important. These are things we would like to see in GMAT!
GMAT has good graphics, but users need (and expect) great graphics. GMAT needs contributions and efforts that improve/extend GMAT's existing 3-D and 2-D graphics. GMAT does not currently support the following standard functionality used routinely by analysts for design and analysis of trajectories:
There are lot's of ways to provide this functionality that should be considered. (NOTE: Licensing issues and/or high license fees may preclude some of these upon further investigation)
There is no true multi-platform space analysis tool with the functionality to design, optimize, control, and navigate missions to just about anywhere in the Solar System. GMAT is relatively close though. Due to limited resources, our team has stopped supporting Mac and Linux to the extent that we do not test on those platforms, and only fix the most egregious issues on those platforms. In short, GMAT is alpha software on Mac and Linux. One possible solution to this problem is for someone in the develop community to develop a rich, script-driven interface that is truly cross platform. This interface need not be flight-qualified, but could be used for analysis and design on all platforms. Here is a list of functionality and activities we feel are essential for a cross-platform effort.
Note: GMAT currently uses WxWidgets. Our experience is that the quality of WxWidgets is very low on Mac, and lower than we would like on Linux. (This may change with WxWidgets 3.0). However, it is worth investigating all options for improved cross-platform support, even the use of non open-source, cross-platform libraries that require licensing fees.
GMAT has preliminary functionality for locating events such as eclipses but it is currently in alpha form. This functionality is critical for mission design and planning and is a serious shortcoming in GMAT. There are lot's of options to address this issue. Here are some ideas to consider:
There are many feature requests and ideas ranging from bite-size projects that take a few hours, to long-term projects that could take multiple years to complete. GMAT features are organized into logical groups to help develop, test, and grow the feature area. Below are links to ideas and requests for new development by feature area.