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Project description

SatMAD: Satellite Mission Analysis and Design

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SatMAD is an open source Python package, aiming at providing the base functionality to solve satellite mission analysis and design as well as orbital mechanics problems with enough precision and performance to be used in the design and operation of real satellites. The target audience is academics and amateur satellite community, including Cubesats (and anyone else who might be interested).

The focus is on good documentation and good test coverage to produce a reliable flight dynamics library.

Current functionality is:

  • Initialising an orbit with a TLE
  • Propagating the orbit analytically via the SGP4 propagator
  • Propagating the orbit numerically via the Scipy ODE Solvers (two-body force model)
  • Good infrastructure for time interval management and event finding
  • Harnessing the extensive Astropy functionalities (e.g. finding azimuth and elevation over a ground location and coordinate frame transformations)

Documentation and Examples

The documentation for SatMAD is here:

You can find some hands-on Jupyter examples in the examples directory (or in the documentation for a text version).

Installing SatMAD

The SatMAD package is on PyPI and you can install it simply by running:

pip install satmad

You can also install it via conda-forge:

conda install -c conda-forge satmad

Do not install satmad using sudo.

You can find the source code on GitHub:


  • NumPy and SciPy are used for the underlying mathematical algorithms
  • Matplotlib is used for plots
  • Astropy handles all time and reference frame computations
  • Portion handles the time interval mechanics
  • Sgp4 provides the TLE manipulation and SGP4 propagation engine
  • Pytest provides the testing framework


This project is Copyright (c) Egemen Imre and licensed under the terms of the GNU GPL v3+ license.

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