Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Interval Propagation of the Iridium Satellite Constellation

I made a first animation of some of the simulations I ran. I will not go into details. What you see is an animation of the iridium communication satellite constellation (92 satellites). It shows the 3-dimensional boxes (rectangular cuboid) in which the satellites are guaranteed to be for the next five seconds, according to my method, taking a certain uncertainty in the position and velocity into account. 

The video is 5 min long (too long) and shows 25 real hours. It was a 60fps video, but YouTube makes that 30fps (twice as long/slow). You can skip through the video to see the boxes (what looks like dots at first) growing. It is a 1080p video. 
Traffic control at the poles will be hard. Imagine all other satellites and debris that is also orbiting there. 


cybrbeast said...

Nice. The uncertainty boxes become quite large towards the end, are you able to keep them smaller with more computing power?

annom said...

Yes, they become large. It will be my job to keep them smaller.

Those boxes enclose the satellite over a period of 5 seconds. At 7 km/s, they travel 35 km in 5 seconds.

Drawing a box around a 35 km long diagonal trajectory makes the box large, even if the line is thin.

I will go to smaller, and thus more, time intervals. This makes the uncertainty caused by uncertain initial position and velocity visible, instead of the uncertainty in time (which I can control).

This will eat many CPUs.

Hope this makes any sense at all :)