List of satellite pass predictors

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Ground track example from Heavens-Above. An observer in Sicily can see the International Space Station when it enters the circle at 9:26 p.m. The observer would see a bright object appear in the northwest, which would move across the sky to a point almost overhead, where it disappears from view, in the space of three minutes.

The following is a list of tools on a variety of platforms that may be used to predict the pass of an orbiting artificial satellite over a given point on Earth. They are used to generate a list of dates, times and directions when and where objects such as the International Space Station, Genesis, or Tiangong 1 space stations will be visible to ground observers, as well as many man-made objects that can be seen with the unaided eye including the Hubble Space Telescope.

Web-based[edit]

  • Heavens-Above, called "the most popular website for tracking satellites" by Sky and Telescope magazine and referenced by NASA websites.[1][2] Linked from both NASA and ESA websites as a reference for locating satellites and spacecraft.[3] Includes predictions for the ISS, space shuttle and other bright satellites, planets, minor planets, and comets.
  • JPass, a java based web application. Offline since April 2010, replaced by NASA Skywatch web application.[4]
  • NASA Skywatch, Java based web application. Predicts visible passes for spacecraft, satellites and space debris.[5]
  • AMSAT Online Satellite Pass Predictions.
  • N2YO provides real time tracking and pass predictions with orbital paths and footprints overlaid on Google Maps.[6] It features an alerting system that automatically notifies users via SMS and/or email before International Space Station crosses the local sky. The N2YO.com system powers ESA's, Space.com's and many other's satellite tracking web pages.
  • CalSky a service offered by Arnold Barmettler for astronomers to plan their observing sessions. Features a calendar (and/or email notifications) generated for your location including information on aurora, comets, tides, solar and lunar eclipses, planets, bright satellite passes (ISS, HST, etc.), occultations, transits, Iridium flares, and decaying satellites that may be visible.[7]
  • https://satellites.calum.org/ Free REST API for single and multiple satellite predictions, focussing mainly on Amateur Radio satellites. Offered as a "best effort" resource.
  • Spectator, allows real-time tracking and overpass prediction for Earth Observation satellites. It also connects to data APIs, allowing users to get latest images from tracked satellites.
  • Where the ISS at? provides real time tracking and push notifications (via email) for ISS passes over your location. REST API available as well.
  • ISS onlne ISS Live webcam. ISS passes over your location. Photo from ISS on map. ISS tracker. Current ISS Crew.

Mobile devices[edit]

iOS[edit]

This section includes applications for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Apps generally use coordinates provided by the device's built in GPS. Some require an active internet connection others update periodically

  • GoSatWatch from GoSoftWorks, supports multiple viewing sites (home, vacation spot, etc.), no internet connection required (one data is loaded and periodically updated). View satellite position on world map or a simple polar chart showing the path the satellite will take across your sky.[8]
  • ISS Visibility, interface to Heavens-Above, predictions up to 30 days out, ground tracks, star chart with path shown.[9]
  • SkySafari shows alerts for Iridium flares and ISS passes.
  • "Star Walk: Constellation Finder" from Vito Technology Inc shows both Iridium flares and ISS passes.

Android[edit]

  • ISS onLive, app with live cameras of ISS, realtime tracking position and visible passes prediction. It also predicts sunrises, sunsets and daytime passes.
  • Satellite AR, by Analytical Graphics augmented reality view of the sky for currently visible satellites only. Includes modes for ISS and bright objects as well as modes which include the thousands of all known satellites.[10]
  • Satellite Passes, supports world map view, augmented reality view, satellite footprint, simulation mode and notifications.[11]
  • Heavens Above has an Android app with similar functionality the website.[12]

Cross-platform[edit]

  • SpyMeSat,[13] by Orbit Logic, a mobile app for iOS and Android, computes pass predictions for any selected location for available commercial and unclassified government high resolution imaging satellites and provides real-time notifications and dynamic real-time imaging resolution and satellite position information and maps during predicted passes. SpyMeSat also includes the ability to download recent high resolution satellite images for the user-selected location, or task selected imaging satellites to take a new image.[14][15]

Software libraries[edit]

  • Astro::satpass Perl library by Tom Wyant, calculates star, sun, and moon positions as well as satellite pass predictions. Interfaces with Celestrak or Space Track.[16]
  • OreKit Java library for low level space dynamics library.[17]

Raw orbital data[edit]

All websites and applications base their predictions on formula using two-line element sets which describe the satellites and their orbits.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shuttle Sightings - NASA Science
  2. ^ Take a "Sat-seeing" Tour - What’s Up Tonight? - SkyandTelescope.com
  3. ^ ESA - Human Spaceflight and Exploration - International Space Station - See the ISS from your home town
  4. ^ Internet Archive Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Double Spaceship Sighting Alert — and Last Chance to See Endeavour in Orbit
  6. ^ New Scientist. 190 (2551): 29. May 13, 2006. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ The Zimbabwe Science News. 33: 24. 1999. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ The space station in the palm of your hand | The Space Shot - CNET News
  9. ^ Paul, Salazar. "Review of iPhone Astronomy Apps: ISS Visibility and Iridium Flares". KFOG.
  10. ^ Satellite AR: Satellite tracking with augmented reality on Android
  11. ^ Satellite Passes: Tracking for a variety of satellites
  12. ^ Nancy Atkinson. "How to see the doomed Tiangong-1 Chinese space station". Phys.org. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  13. ^ http://www.spymesat.com/
  14. ^ SpyMeSat Mobile App Now Offers High Resolution Satellite Imagery
  15. ^ SpyMeSatGov: satellite imagery mobile app for government
  16. ^ Tom Wyant / Astro-satpass - metacpan.org
  17. ^ "CS launches the 1rst [sic] free operational Space Flight Dynamics". CS Communication & Systèmes.
  18. ^ Welcome to Center for Space Standards & Innovation (CSSI)
  19. ^ Space-Track - New Account Archived 2011-06-12 at the Wayback Machine.
  20. ^ Palgen, Trevor (2010). Blank spots on the map : the dark geography of the Pentagon's secret world (Updated ed.). New York: New American Library. ISBN 0-451-22916-9.
  21. ^ Webb, Stephen (1999). Measuring the universe : the cosmological distance ladder ([Repr.] ed.). London: Springer. ISBN 1-85233-106-2.