All satellites visualization

From: Frank Reed via Seesat-l <>
Date: 9 Jul 2015 09:30:14 -0700
There's a neat little web site here:

It displays the live positions of all satellites in orbit (all that are included in the standard database). You can rotate, zoom in, click to identify. This is primarily a demonstration of WebGL coding and some other modern tricks (like web workers). That is, the purpose of the web site, as it looks to me, is primarily to display slick web app coding techniques. The satellite aspect is secondary --a nice "code-able" project that is easy to display in a simple 3D view. It's a bunch of moving dots!

The software for the satellite positions is from a very nice javascript library (actively developed again) here: The positions are derived from the complete SGP4 model. This is probably over-kill for a case like this since precessing Keplerian ellipses would produce nearly indistinguishable results for this application. But computing power is cheap! Apart from firing up the fan on my laptop, there's no real cost associated with calculating all those SGP4 positions over and over again. For anyone trying to build your own satellite apps, this is a "must have" javascript library. I sense that many of the software developers who follow seesat-l are a bit 'old school' so I'll add that javascript is no longer considered a "toy" language. It is an extremely powerful, modern language (albeit with a few well-known quirks and un-necessary features), and it's absolutely the way to go for most web app development.

If you read the 'about' box you'll discover that this project was created by a college freshman. Nice... :)

Frank Reed
Conanicut Island USA

PS: ...yes, that is the complete address. It's a ".space" domain, not ".com" or ".org" etc.

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Received on Thu Jul 09 2015 - 11:31:42 UTC

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