Articles by Juan Luis Cano Rodríguez

Juan Luis steps down as maintainer of the project

By Juan Luis Cano Rodríguez

Today is Volunteer Responsibility Amnesty Day, and with a heavy heart I, Juan Luis, would like to announce that I am stepping down as maintainer of poliastro, almost a decade after creating the project.

Some of you might find this surprising, some others may have seen this coming for some time. This is a continuation of my decision to step down as co-maintainer of astropy.coordinates a year ago, and a realization of the fact that I have been spending less and less time in poliastro in the past months.

Before getting into details about why stepping down now, I would like to comfort existing users by saying that I spoke to Jorge Martínez, co-maintainer since he started as a Google Summer of Code Student in 2018-2019, and he accepted taking over the maintenance of the project. The pace will …

April updates

We call them April updates but we've mostly started working in May, allow us this small inconsistency 😉

Juan Luis will give a talk about poliastro at SciPy US 2022 in Austin, Texas, USA! We are thrilled to have this opportunity to present almost a decade of work in such an important event, and we have already started working on a full conference paper as well, with a draft hopefully ready by the end of the month.

Since our last update we have published two bugfix releases of poliastro, the last one being poliastro 0.16.3, with documentation improvements and several compatibility fixes with the latest versions of Astropy and Python.

January updates

By Juan Luis Cano Rodríguez

This January, we spent a lot of time discussing Sebastian's proposal to add a new OrbitArray object in line with our Small Development Grant. We are now all on the same page and the implementation is progressing nicely!

Apart from that, our contributors have been working on a number of things:

December updates

By Juan Luis Cano Rodríguez

poliastro wishes everyone a merry new revolution around the Sun! 💫

During the December break, Juan Luis wrote a new example on how to read OMM and TLE data that will help with a number of typical satellite observation use cases and merged a few refactors and cleanups of the source code. We expect to make a 0.16.1 release soon to ship the documentation improvements, and will keep cleaning up the code over the coming weeks and addressing some long-standing issues.

In addition, Sebastian will kick off the project to add array types to poliastro very soon. This work will be possible thanks to the generous funding of NumFOCUS, and will improve the performance of the library for some use cases.

poliastro 0.16.0 released 🚀

It fills us with astronomical joy to announce the release of poliastro 0.16.0! 🚀

This release shipped numerous new APIs and performance improvements. Yash, our Google Summer of Code 2021 student, added a number of event detectors for numerical propagation, and several contributors helped accelerate more parts of the code, which should result in significant speedups for most workflows. In addition, we have new community-contributed scripts for relative orbits and mean elements computations.

You can read 0.16.0 full release notes online.

We will present these changes at the Open Source Cubesat Workshop 2021, to be held online on December 9-10.

Per Python ad astra!

November updates

By Juan Luis Cano Rodríguez

We have released the first beta of poliastro 0.16! Highlights include new events detectors written by Yash as part of GSOC 2021, a new .plot_maneuver method, and many performance improvements. We expect to release 0.16.0 in the first days of December, and users are encouraged to test their code with the beta.

During this month we have made some small improvements to the library and the development workflow. In particular, we have added a continuous integration check that ensures that poliastro.core depends only on NumPy and numba. For the next release we want to keep working on the consistency and quality of the code and do some cleanups.

We discussed the possibility of adding new APIs to interface with TLE data, which will enable a whole new range of use cases related to commercial terrestrial satellites …

October updates

By Juan Luis Cano Rodríguez

October was a particularly intense month, with lots of exciting news!

We are thrilled to announce that NumFOCUS accepted to fund our proposal to introduce array orbit types to accelerate parallel computing workflows in poliastro as part of their Small Development Grants program. The proposal was written by Sebastian M. Ernst and we have already started coordinating what will be the next steps.

In other news, a team of researchers participating in the Global Trajectory Optimization Competition is using poliastro, and they discovered a few bugs and made numerous code contributions. Special thanks to Manuel López Ibáñez!

Among other things, we fixed long standing bugs of our Izzo algorithm for the Lambert problem and our accelerated rotation_matrix function. We plan to release the next version of poliastro with these and other fixes in the coming weeks.

Lately we have been …

September updates

By Juan Luis Cano Rodríguez

Hacktoberfest is coming! We are preparing ourselves for this celebration of open source by appropriately tagging some open issues and reviewing our contributing documentation. We have also discussed possible improvements for the development experience, like checking for dead code, dropping some unused CI checks or adding a bot that reformats the code.

Yash has been struggling with some corner cases of his attractor surface visibility and satellite visibility pull requests, we hope to get them to a working state soon.

Finally, we submitted a proposal for the NumFOCUS Small Development Grants, and we hope to see it accepted!

August updates

This month Yash has been wrapping up his Google of Summer of Code work by adding eclipse event detection, node crossing event detection, and fixing the propagation logic for non-terminal events. Besides, Yash is also writing a new how-to guide for the event detection that we hope to get merged soon. Jorge has been thoroughly reviewing all that work and adding validation cases when appropriate.

Libre Space Foundation published a summary of Yash work, you can read it on their blog.