Interplanetary MFD

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Project home: IMFD
Author: Jarmo Nikkanen

Interplanetary MFD (IMFD) is an Orbiter add-on created by Jarmo Nikkanen. It facilitates travel throughout the solar system by calculating and displaying a vessel's predicted trajectory.


The current version is IMFD 5.1g released on March 28, 2008.

Key Features:

  • Map program can be used to display entire solar system and predict the actual course of the vessel with numerical trajectory calculator. The predictor can be also used to predict a hypothetical scenarios as well. This is very useful when planning a free-return trajectories.
  • Course program is a collection of minor navigation programs those will let you to navigate through the solar system to other planets, moons and comets. Primary programs are based on the Lambert solver. In the most simplest case only a date of ejection and the Date of arrival is required as an user input.
  • BaseApproach program is designed for Apollo style Moon to Earth return missions. It can be used to target a bases on the Mars and land directly without an orbit insertion. The program will also allow to establish an orbit right over a specific base on a planet so that it is possible to continue the descent on the base. That's very useful when landing on the Moon.
  • Surface Launch program is usefull when starting interplanetary or lunar missions from the planet surface. The program will compute the time to launch window and required launch heading. This program is the only one that doesn't compute any burn guidance data. A vessel specific ascent profile should be used to reach low orbit.
  • Orbit Eject program is required when starting interplanetary missions from the orbit. This program is used in a combination with the other programs to convert the Escape information into burn guidance data.

Version History

0.5 (2002)

  • Initial Release


  • Scaleability improved. Using without DG panels
  • Bug in Multibody calculations fixed also Calculation speed increased x3
  • Orbital program added: Circulate orbit at any point; Velocity Match; Find Target
  • Map: centering Periapis and Apoapis
  • Map: Now mode displaying ship position "Dot"
  • Map: Manual reference added
  • Map: Hyperbola position bug fixed.
  • Ellipse draw fixed


  • Multi-body calculator rewrote it is now 10-20 times faster than the first one and it is much more accurate.
  • Plane change line added to Approach, Zoom, Update
  • Intersections are displayed on map
  • 50% Gravity Zone Circle
  • Information text to Map.
  • Continuing updating to approach-program.
  • Information display removed
  • Gravity references display removed


  • Orbital: circulate fixed


  • Approach: Time stepping improved
  • Map: Some Centering problems fixed. When current center is no longer available like apoapis on hyperbola.


Changes are unknown


  • Map: Intersections with hyperbola fixed
  • Calculation fixes and minor changes


  • Transfer program is now online. Little different kind of approach to transfers.
  • There is no dV. You can specify intersection longitude and that sort of things.
  • Hypothetic orbit is shown on the Map. Map will automatically go to HTO mode when transfer program is running in other MFD.

- Course correction program 1 ( Best launch time is when the time required for the burn is minimum )

- Course correction program 2

  • Map: Auto Zoom feature
  • Map: Mode indicators added
  • Map: Interceptions problem with inclination greater than 90deg fixed
  • Orbital: Program 7 removed. Same maneuver can be done with transfer programs.
  • Approach: Time stepping improved
  • Approach: Plane change calculations fixed


  • Map: reference bug fixed.
  • Map: auto centering when selecting targets from some where else. Ship orbit will be disabled.
  • Transfer: calculation error fixed
  • Transfer: reference bug fixed. ( Transfer is now using same reference and target as map)
  • Approach: realtime calculation improved, many fixes
  • Transfer: Program 1 replaced with new program.
  • Transfer: Time to burn added.
  • Map: line brightness increased

External Links

Jarmo Nikkanen's Orbiter page