Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Eyeing orbits from a new perspective - your PC

25.02.2003


Ever wonder where your favourite ESA Earth observation satellites are, right now?

Now that curiosity can be satisfied from your PC, thanks to ESA’s Satellites in Orbits website and the new addition of its Earth observation missions. The Earth Observation Orbits site displays real-time information and animations about the orbital tracks and current locations of ESA’s four Earth imaging satellites that were launched to help us better understand our own planet.

The interactive display includes a 3D model of the Earth and the ESA Earth observation satellites orbiting it, including:



ERS–1 and –2 satellites, ESA’s first spacecraft providing global measurements of earth’s atmospheric and surface properties using advanced microwave techniques. ERS-1, although still orbiting, was retired from service in 2000;

Envisat, Europe’s largest and most capable Earth observation satellite, launched last year with a suite of ten sensors to measure various aspects of the Earth’s atmosphere, ocean, land, and ice;

Proba, short for Project for On-Board Autonomy, a mini-satellite measuring only 60x60x80 cm to demonstrate advanced spacecraft and imagery technologies.

Perspectives on the sky and Earth

On the Orbits website the display, you control several interactive perspectives on the satellites with the capability of toggling between them. You can alter the time, rotate the view, zoom in and out, and learn more about the various satellites and their missions.

The "Earth View" offers a unique perspective on the Earth and the orbital tracks of the EO satellites, presented as if you were "standing" thousands of kilometres high in space and looking "down" on the Earth and the satellites below.

The perspective can be zoomed and rotated to create dazzling views of the Earth and outline clearly the areas of the globe visited by the Earth observation satellites. By “grabbing” the display with your mouse or using the controls on the display, you can rotate the view of the sky and zoom in on particular spots in the sky. By animating the display with the video controls you can watch the stately procession of the ESA spacecraft as they travel in a never-ending circle between the North and South Poles with the Earth rotating underneath them.

A "Sky View" shows the satellites that along with the Moon, planets and stars, are visible from any location on Earth. It also displays the Moon, planets and major stars that are visible or just below the horizon for a particular location, date and time.

By choosing the Location radio button, you can enter longitude and latitude settings, or pick from a drop-down list of selected world cities, for a glimpse of the visible sky from that location, including the orbital tracks and current location of the spacecraft.

Like the Earth View, you can move and rotate the display, as well as zoom in on particular spots in the sky. By entering date and time parameters, different sky views are presented and then animated by using VCR-type controls to see how the sky and satellite positions change over time.

The positions of the satellites are defined by two-line orbital element (TLE) data. The TLEs are provided by the North American Aerospace Defense Command, better known as NORAD, which tracks all manmade objects in space. The information is updated weekly, on average, to ensure that the satellite positions are as accurate as possible within a 40-day window, forward and back, from the time set on your computer.

For the best view of the site, you’ll need to have Java Virtual machine and the Flash Plug-in installed on your computer. If you don’t have these, you’ll see links for these add-ons.

Come and take a look if your favourite ESA Earth observation satellite is over your neighbourhood right now by visiting Earth Observation Orbits. Depending on your Internet connection, the applet could take a few moments to load.

Jolyon Martin | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/export/esaSA/SEM9B72A6BD_earth_0.html

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Two dimensional circuit with magnetic quasi-particles
22.01.2018 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

nachricht Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation
19.01.2018 | Carnegie Institution for Science

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Multifunctional Platform for the Delivery of Gene Therapeutics

22.01.2018 | Life Sciences

The world's most powerful acoustic tractor beam could pave the way for levitating humans

22.01.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Siberian scientists learned how to reduce harmful emissions from HPPs

22.01.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>