Mars Explorer

Help!! Design and Code ideas????

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#1 freedom  Icon User is offline

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Mars Explorer

Posted 11 November 2006 - 07:08 AM

Hi, I have just been given this assignment and I'm really stuck on design and code ideas?!

Any help would be greatly apreciated!

Thanks guys



Assignment 2006 – Mars Explorer

Introduction


The “Mars Explorer” unmanned space vehicle is currently being designed. It is proposed that it will land on the surface of Mars, where it will perform experiments, take measurements and transmit pictures back to Earth.

You have been asked to design a prototype monitor and control system for the “Mars Explorer”, concentrating on the systems which allow it to land safely, in the right place. A java application is required which should perform as follows:-

· The user should be able to start and monitor the Explorer’s final approach towards the planet surface.

· As this is a prototype, your application will need to provide simulated “emergencies”, such as:-

Travelling too fast / going off course / collision with asteroid / vehicle too hot or too cold / computer system failure
Dust storm reducing visibility / surface too hot, cold, soft, or rough for landing / alien invasion…
· The vehicle will be affected by the conditions it encounters in space and on the surface. Impact from asteroids may change its speed or direction. Radiation due to sunspots may interfere with its electronics. The application should allow the user to select from a variety of external conditions (e.g. “High Radiation Levels”, “Asteroids”, “and High Surface Temperature”, “Alien Spaceships”). The conditions selected will also affect the likelihood of emergencies such as computer failure.

Design Document 20%

You must submit a short design document which briefly explains the design of your program, and shows clearly how you translated the specification into a program consisting of objects, methods and data items. This may use flow charts, data flow diagrams or UML diagrams, or pseudo code. (100 – 200 words + diagrams guideline)

You are not required to include a printout of your program code, and a printout of your program code will not be a suitable substitute for an explanation of your program design.

Minimum Requirements 30%

· On opening the application, a message should be shown to the user welcoming them to your “Mars Lander” application, and inviting them to log in using their user details. (Ideally a correct password should be required before the user has full access to the program.)

· The application must include components which allow the user to enter his or her name details, and their job title, e.g “Pilot” or “Mission Control”, or a “Mission Number” which updates each time the program is run.

· The “Mission Information” form should include a suitable logo, e.g. NASA, a picture of Mars, or a spaceship

· The application must display a representation of the Mars Explorer travelling towards the surface, allow the user to monitor the vehicle and control its speed, and allow the user to input relevant information such as space and surface conditions. Some sort of basic graphical representation must be included. It must be updated at least once per second after the program starts running.

· The application must display the following information relating to the vehicle:-

Current conditions on the planet surface. (Is it dark or light? What is the surface temperature?)
Current speed relative to the planet surface (updated every second).
Distance from the planet surface (updated every second)
Time left (in seconds) before the vehicle meets the ground
A visual indicator showing the current position of “Mars Explorer” and its progress towards the proposed landing site
· The layout and performance of the user interface should be neat, clear, and appropriate for its purpose.

· The Java source code must be clearly laid out and include adequate commenting and explanation.

Further Requirements 30%

· The user interface will meet the minimum requirements, and will also be imaginatively laid out, user-friendly, and reliable in operation.

· The graphical representation may be more sophisticated, including for example the view shown by the vehicle’s camera, to be updated when the application appears, when the vehicle lands, and for at least one intermediate stage.

· An element of chance may be introduced, for instance:-

After a specific (or random) length of time, events may occur which the user has to respond to. For instance, high radiation levels may be encountered, or the lander may be travelling too fast towards the planet surface.
If an emergency occurs, a message must appear telling Mission Control what has gone wrong. The message may be accompanied by an appropriate audible warning. The user should also be given the option of firing rockets in order to change the vehicle’s speed and direction.
· The following rules must be adhered to …

To avoid crash damage, the vehicle must be travelling no faster than 10 metres per second when it reaches the surface. If it reaches speeds above 10 metres per second, rockets must be fired to slow it down immediately.
The amount of rocket fuel available is limited, so rockets can only be used for up to 10 seconds in total. Firing the rockets for 10 seconds reduces the vehicle speed by 30 metres per second.
· If visibility on the surface is reduced by a severe dust storm, the backup radar systems must be switched on.

· External data files may be used. User names, passwords, and acceptable radiation levels are all examples of data which may be stored externally.

· A good range of user interface controls should be used such as combo boxes, radio buttons, sliders etc.



Extra features and enhancements 20%
Extra marks will be available for successfully implemented extra features, beyond those already described. These features may include:-

· especially good functional or visual design (e.g. appropriate use of multiple forms, tabs, menu bars, backgrounds, or other components which improve the visual impression and usability)

· especially efficient, skilful or elegant programming, demonstrating good understanding of the principles of system design, object-orientated programming, and issues such as portability and maintenance

· more advanced use of graphics (e.g inclusion of animated graphics, movies, graphs or charts)

· appropriate use of sound

· built-in user help files (i.e a “Help” function which is built into the application, as opposed to a user information document)

Note particularly that “extra features” can earn you a maximum of 20 marks – it is important that you concentrate on meeting the other requirements, before spending time on extra enhancements.

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Replies To: Mars Explorer

#2 salindor  Icon User is offline

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Re: Mars Explorer

Posted 11 November 2006 - 10:21 AM

Have you managed to come up with anything yet?

Something you might consider doing is get some paper out and sketch the gui you will need for this. You can pull that directly from the requirements

Quote

As this is a prototype, your application will need to provide simulated “emergencies”, such as:-


Then each option listed below would become an option on the gui.
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#3 corliss  Icon User is offline

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Re: Mars Explorer

Posted 13 July 2007 - 11:16 AM

Sounds fun... Iwould start with the basic class and enviro. variables. Start with code :)
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#4 Amadeus  Icon User is offline

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Re: Mars Explorer

Posted 13 July 2007 - 12:20 PM

I hope he started a year and a half ago.
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#5 William_Wilson  Icon User is offline

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Re: Mars Explorer

Posted 13 July 2007 - 12:28 PM

View PostAmadeus, on 13 Jul, 2007 - 03:20 PM, said:

I hope he started a year and a half ago.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, well put!
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#6 Martyr2  Icon User is offline

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Re: Mars Explorer

Posted 13 July 2007 - 03:55 PM

I wish I had this type of assignment back in school. :(

Then I could have created something super elite and get into NASA. Then I could finally get the chance to use my Java Death Ray code I have been meaning to try out on unsuspecting victims. They will all bow down to the power of Java then won't they!

But seriously, I would first focus on gathering requirements, decide if you are going to go for extra features and if you have enough time for them. Then I would actually run through a mars landing procedure to see what my program will have to do, when, and on what. This will define your methods, sequence diagrams and dataflow diagrams, and your ERD (entity relational diagram).

Once you have that you will code the objects with their methods, link them up through the various levels of decomposition until finally you have a working demo.

Hope this helps!
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#7 Amadeus  Icon User is offline

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Re: Mars Explorer

Posted 13 July 2007 - 05:47 PM

Hmm...the actual point of my post is that the assignment was due last year, and I'm not sure the user will be back to check this thread.
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#8 Lindy5000  Icon User is offline

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Re: Mars Explorer

Posted 07 February 2008 - 06:37 PM

View PostAmadeus, on 13 Jul, 2007 - 05:47 PM, said:

Hmm...the actual point of my post is that the assignment was due last year, and I'm not sure the user will be back to check this thread.



View PostAmadeus, on 13 Jul, 2007 - 05:47 PM, said:

Hmm...the actual point of my post is that the assignment was due last year, and I'm not sure the user will be back to check this thread.



Yes, bbbbbbut....... I am doing the same question this year........ so any posts would still be useful to somebody!!!!!
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