Satellite tracking with GPS V2.4
See whats new in version 2.4:
This diplomawork from Varol Okan was done between 23.09.96 and 23.12.96 at the FH-Dieburg. The program calculates the actual position of the satellites
using the NORAD2LINE-element set, which is available via the Internet, for nearly all satellites. The position is then displayed in 3D-view as well
as in 2D (mercator) view, where the footprints are also be shown.
New in version 2.4 is the Weather dialog and the Internet dialog. Check them out. I did also some major internal restructuring on the graphics
engine so that you can now use JPEG, GIF, EMF, WMF, TIFF, PCX, and BMP as Textures.
The program needs Windows NT/95, the OpenGL DLL's and a color depth of at least 16 bit (65535 colors).
Furthermore it's recommended, to have at least a Pentium 100 with 32 MByte of RAM. (On a P233MMX with 64MByte RAM it's really a lot of fun)
See also Glossary for used terms.
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The Global Positioning System (GPS), which was developed in 1978
for the American Department of Defense (DoD) as successor for the TRANSIT system (the first US-Satellite navigation system), is one of two actual working
Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS).
The second system which is actually in use is GLObal NAvigation Satellite System (GLONASS) from Russia. This system also needs
24 satellites and has been fully functional since 1995.
The GPS-Navigation is based on the distance calculation to the NAVSTAR-satellites in space. The distance is received by calculating the time
span for the signal to reach the receiver. With this information, it is also possible to get velocity information.
GPS is not only used for aeronautic and aquanautic facilities; you can also find GPS receiver in security or transportation systems and lots of other systems.
About the program GPS
This diplomawork was programmed to display the complex mathematics behind the position determination of satellites while also showing the footprints of satellites in a simple
and understandable manner. The algorithms used within this program are the WGS72 implementation of the SGP4 and SDP4 orbital model, programmed by Dr.TS.Kelso
Turbo Pascal and then converted into a C++ Dynamic Link Library (sgpsdp.dll).
The input format for the satellites is the NORAD 2 LINE
element set which can be found at the specified links (see Internetlinks). I.e. you can use this program not only for
the GPS-satellites but for all other satellites as well.
See also the OnLine User-Manual. Or download the zipped
version (793.931 Bytes).
After receiving a couple of e-mails stating differences between GPS, and other prediction programs, I decided, to go
ahead and put a Product Assurance page up.
What's not included yet ...
- The program can't make Coffee. This feature will probably be included in version XP.
What the program can do ...
- It can be a lot of fun. Get the computer going and going, and going ...
- It can calculate the satellite position relatively accurately, if one is willing to download the satellite data at least once a day
- It's possible to give a visual understanding of the math behind the satellite position calculation.
- One can draw a detailed worldmap with rivers, see borderlines and over 2700 towns.
- It is Bi-Lingual; you can choose between German and English.
The program was developed using MSDEV 4.0 (Microsoft Developer Studio) Visual C++, with the help of the Foundation Classes (MFC) and OpenGL.
The work was done on a 100 MHz Pentium system under Windows 95.
The diplomawork was developed between the 23.Sep.1996 - 23.Dec.1996 (Version 1.0). Responsible Prof. : Dipl. Ing. Wolfgang Söll.
Last update (Version 2.4) from February 10'th 2003.
I hope that GPS is not only a toy for experts, but also for other people who want to play around with satellites. GPS was therefore programmed
in a manner that working with the program should be fun rather then frustrating. There are enough possiblilities to configure the program to get some funny results.
E.g. when you set the Sphere approximation under Options->General to X=4 and Y=2, or to load the picture of someone's head as a texture ...
The handling of the views is very simple. All one needs to do is to use the mouse to zoom, rotate and / or pan the view. The timefactor can be adjusted by using the
slider control at the lower right of the main-frame.
Have fun downloading ;-)
Prof. Dipl. Ing. W. Söll
Author: Varol Okan /
Last Updated: February 9'th 2003