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 Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte
17.08.2018 | Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)

nachricht Protecting the power grid: Advanced plasma switch for more efficient transmission
17.08.2018 | DOE/Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

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: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A materials scientist’s dream come true

21.08.2018 | Materials Sciences

Quantum bugs, meet your new swatter

20.08.2018 | Information Technology

A novel synthetic antibody enables conditional “protein knockdown” in vertebrates

20.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>