Friday, March 22, 2013

Google Earth Satellite Tracker

I started a Python-Powered Google Earth satellite tracking project a few days ago.  Many have demanded screenshots and additional information on it's configuration and usage, so here tis!  You start off by setting a few options in getrack.cfg:  

For now the two major configuration items are the username and password.  This is subject to change in the near future, once I implement querying Keps from multiple data sources.  That should happen tonight, so I will have to blog again tomorrow evening, woot!  Once configured, running getrack is trivial, all you have to do is execute: python

Once the server is running, all you need to do is drag and drop satellites.kml into Google Earth.  After dragging it in, you should see satellites.kml under Temporary Places.  Each satellite will have a unique entry that can be enabled and disabled.

Within the geographic viewer, you should see one orbit for each configured satellite.  If you zoom into the view below, you will see the ISS making a pass over the Sahara.

Once you have it up and running, have some fun and zoom in on a satellite or two.  Notice how you can modify your eye-point by panning and tilting, allowing you to view multiple perspectives:

Finally, observe how each orbits lines are styled according to their eclipse state.  When a satellite is in daylight, the line is given a yellow tint (by default).  An eclipsed satellite is identified by a green tint (by default).

If you are not a fan of the default colors, pop open the config file and set your own.

1 comment:

Global Track said...

Excellent stuff from you, man. I’ve read your things before and you are just too awesome.

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