SOT: Satellite Orbit Tracker
We use NORAD Two Line Element (TLE) data which describes the last known position, velocity, and orbital parameters for each satellite. These are pulled from Dr. T.S. Kelso's site Celestrak.com which is canonical for public data and updated frequently. Currently the TLE files are stored with the code for development, but we plan to have the browser download them directly and cache them locally using HTML5 local storage.
AGI's Cesium is an excellent virtual globe and map engine, built on WebGL, and open sourced on GitHub. It would not be possible for us to provide sophisticated visualizations without this software.
The code here is divided into two areas: SGP4 satellite calculations and Cesium-based visualizaiton.
Trying it out
It would be nice if you could clone this code, then open the viz/index.html file in a browser. Unfortunately, images and globe backgrounds won't render due to cross-domain issues "SECURITY_ERR: DOM Exception 18" on Chrome. Firefox seems to render everything fine. Safari renders the images but for me is stalled loading the tiles from Bing (beachball of death).
Instead, put the unpacked files into a place your web server can see them, then hit the index.html. On my Mac, I put it under ~/Sites/
I'm developing on OS X.
I primarily use Chrome (22.0.1229.94) to visualize it.
Firefox 16.0 and 17.0 have worked fine for me.
Safari 6.0.1 doesn't have WebGL support unless you enable it: Preference, Advanced, Show Develop menu in menu bar; Develop menu, Enable WebGL.
Android CyanogenMod 9 on HP TouchPad:
- The stock browser partially renders some statellites and globe, but then hangs.
- Firefox runs and displays the calculations but shows me a blank screen.
- Dolphin: TBD
Android CyanogenMod 7 on Nook Color:
- Stock browser: TBD
- Firefox: TBD
- Dolphin: TBD
Android CyanogenMod (SuperSonic) 7.2.0 on HTC Evo 3G (2+ years old):
- Stock Browser: Renders UI controls which work, but no globe or positions displayed
- Firefox: Renders UI controls which work, but no globe or positions displayed
- Dolphin: Renders UI controls which work, but no globe or positions displayed