Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Active Artificial Satellites

About 943 active satellites orbit Earth. Where are they? 
I need current satellite position and velocity data at a given time. And data needs to be visualized so I made some plots.
Shown is the position of communication (green), navigation (blue), science/observation (red), military (pink) and others (light green) and their projections on the three planes. 
And a close-up of low Earth orbit satellites,


pimp-a-lot bear said...

nice plots!!
where did you get the satellite data?

cybrbeast said...

Nice work, are you going to animate it?

Related: I blogged about a kml with all satellites before.

annom said...

They are from NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) two line element sets. It is in a set of variables made for a specific model (SGP4) that can be used to quickly and accurately simulate orbits.

Here is a piece of raw data :)
1 24792U 97020A 10320.38558303 -.00001020 00000-0 -37132-3 0 2596
2 24792 86.3946 243.7231 0002344 83.0763 277.0665 14.34212236708516

To go to simple x,y,z Cartesian at a certain time t0 (measurements are not provided at one moment), you have to use that model to simulate all satellites to time t0. The model than outputs Cartesian coordinates.

I will use the position and velocity data as initial values for my simulations.

annom said...

I will try to animate the interval simulation.

That KML is great. It is made by the largest software company for trajectory/orbit analysis. I probably could have used their database.

I tried Google Earth for orbit visualisation, but it is very limited. There is a limit to the zoom and no good control of the size of objects.