SatTracker Standalone Application
Updated November 15, 1998
The SatTracker Standalone Applications is nifty Windows app that lists the TVRO satellites and allows you to display the look angles for many satellites along with the orbital track. This app is based entirely on the SatTracker2 ActiveX control which is undergoing tests at http://www.coolstf.com. Once it's bug free it'll be available on Lyngemark Satellite Chart along with the older Java-based SatTracker applet.
Download SatTracker.exe from the COOL.STF download page and then run it. Follow the simple steps to install.
Using SatTracker Standalone
When SatTracker Standalone launches it reads a file in the installation folder called 'tvro.tle'. This file contains the Two-Line Elements for most of the TVRO satellites. You should keep in mind that orbital parameters change frequently, so you need to update tvro.tle from time to time. Dr. T.S. Kelso's Celestial WWW site contains the file you need at http://celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/tvro.txt. Just visit this page and then save it as 'tvro.tle' in the folder where SatTracker Standalone is installed.
Although we think of geosynchronous satellites as stationary objects, they are far from this! Obviously, they wander around the Earth once a day at the same rate as the planet, but in addition to this Earth gravity controlled orbit, they also move around a fair bit in their slot or drift haplessly around the planet after retirement. When you use the Inclined orbit tab you can see this orbit. Browsing through the satellites results in some interesting patterns:
|SBS-4 is a typical inclined satellite after the Comsat Maneuver. Obviously with a swing of +/- 3.5 degrees real time tracking of this satellite is required|
|Satcom K2 is in a nice loop with little swing, requiring no dish adjustment|
|The now retired Satcom K1 drifts more than 2 1/2 degrees a day|
|Gorizont 26 does an interesting dance to keep itself on station|
|Astra 1B over a 48 hour period|
|SBS2 shown over three days as it does two loops a day while wandering around the Earth in the graveyard orbit|