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The image below is a gain map of the normalized gain of the Apollo CSM Rendezvous Radar Transponder as seen from the LM; it is plotted with respect to the spherical coordinates of the LM's position as seen by the CSM

with [math]\theta[/math] on the vertical axis and [math]\phi[/math] on the horizontal.

I'm looking to fit it to a polynomial surface of the form (X+Y)^n (with everything X, Y, Z, normalized to a 0--1 range).

Matlab's polyfit() function would be nice, but it's not implemented in GNU Octave.

This is probably not the most efficient way to compute gain every timestep, so if there's a lightweight lookup table (bicubic) function that folks have used with Orbiter before I'm interested.

Interested in hearing thoughts on this too. Maybe I'm going about this wrong.