Introduction and info. on new satellite predictions Web site

Chris Peat (
Mon, 8 Dec 1997 16:52:19 +0100

Hello everyone,
This is my first message to the mailing list, so first let me introduce

My name is Chris Peat and I am currently working as a contractor at the
German Space Operations Centre (GSOC) near Munich. My responsibilities
include development of software in the area of orbital dynamics, and amongst
my proudest achievements are the orbital displays which are projected at the
front of the main GSOC control rooms. I am also a relatively new but keen
amateur satellite observer.

One of my other activities is the development of software for GSOC's Web
servers, and I have just developed and installed a set of dynamic Web pages
which I hope the subscribers of this mailing list will find interesting.

The pages offer customised predictions of visible satellite passes for ANY
location in the world, and offer features which are, as far as I am aware,
unique on the Internet. The first step for new visitors to the pages is to
either type in your coordinates and time zone manually, or select your
nearest town from a database of around 2000 worldwide. You will then reach
the home page which can then be bookmarked and the coordinate information is
saved in the URL. From this home page a number of prediction pages are
offered, including;

 - Predictions of the Mir complex for the next 10 days
 - Daily predictions of all visible satellites (at least the ones in our
database) for either
   the morning or evening periods.
- Real time orbital display of the current position of Mir based on the
displays used in
   the GSOC control rooms.

The latter is ONLY available for those lucky enough ;) to be running Windows
95 or NT and using a browser capable of displaying ActiveX controls such as
Internet Explorer 3.02.

The URL of the start page is as follows;

Additional features which we hope to be adding in the near future include
predictions of Iridium flares, orbit displays of all satellites (not just
Mir), and dynamically generated GIF displays of the orbits for those with
non-ActiveX browsers.

The pages are intended to appeal to a wide audience so as to promote GSOC
and kindle a public interest in space, so you might find that some of the
details you would wish are not present and the pages a little
over-simplified. However, I certainly believe that they have something to
offer, even to this "hard-core" of satellite spotters.

I would, of course, welcome suggestions for improvements, error reports, and
any other comments. I would also appreciate it if those of you who look
after related web sites could put in hot-links to our site.


Chris Peat