ASSIST: An Ephemeris-Quality Test Particle Integrator

28 Mar 2023  ·  Matthew J. Holman, Arya Akmal, Davide Farnocchia, Hanno Rein, Matthew J. Payne, Robert Weryk, Daniel Tamayo, David M. Hernandez ·

We introduce ASSIST, a software package for ephemeris-quality integrations of test particles. ASSIST is an extension of the REBOUND framework and makes use of its IAS15 integrator to integrate test particle trajectories in the field of the Sun, Moon, planets, and 16 massive asteroids, with the positions of the masses coming from the JPL DE441 ephemeris and its associated asteroid perturber file. The package incorporates the most significant gravitational harmonics and general relativistic corrections. ASSIST also accounts for position- and velocity-dependent non-gravitational effects. The first order variational equations are included for all terms to support orbit fitting and covariance mapping. This new framework is meant to provide an open-source package written in a modern language to enable high-precision orbital analysis and science by the small body community. ASSIST is open source, freely distributed under the GNU General Public license, version 3.

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Earth and Planetary Astrophysics Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics