How do I improve the visualization of GEO Satellite Orbits?


QuestionHow do I improve the visualization of GEO Satellite Orbits?
There are multiple ways of improving the visualization of a GEO satellite from its defaults. If you want to try to do it through the GUI, use the instructions below. If you want to use a Matlab Script then you can download the Script here: Geostationary Satellite Visualizer Helper. If you want to create your own script, use the sample script or the associated Connect Commands in the instructions below.

Note: Use of the script requires STK Integration and Analysis Workbench licenses.

The instructions below only require the STK Free version.
Shows the Before and After Running the Instructions or Script

  1. Insert Satellite from an External Ephemeris file of a Geostationary Satellite or from the STK Standard Object Database
  2. Go to the properties of the satellite:
    1. 2D Graphics > Line Width: Increase Width
    2. 2D Graphics > Pass: Orbit Track
      1. Lead: None
      2. Trail: All or Time (2 days)
    3. 2D Graphics > Pass: [Resolution]
      1. Time between Orbit Points, set Maximum to ~ 100 seconds (too small will drop frame rate)
    4. 3D Graphics > Pass: Leading/Trailing
      1. Inherit from 2D Graphics
    5. 3D Graphics > Orbit System:
      1. Fixed by Window > Enable Show
      2. Inertial by Window > Disable Show
    6. 3D Graphics > Covariance
      1. Enable Show
      2. Change Translucency to 50%
    7. Connect Commands (used in this section)
      1. Graphics */Satellite/* Basic LineWidth 5
      2. Graphics */Satellite/* Pass2D OrbitLead None OrbitTrail All
      3. Graphics */Satellite/* Pass2D Resolution MaxOrbit 100
      4. VO */Satellite/* Pass3D Inherit On
      5. VO */Satellite/* OrbitSystem Modify System "InertialByWindow" Show Off
      6. VO */Satellite/* OrbitSystem Modify System "FixedByWindow" Show On
      7. VO */Satellite/* Covariance Basic Show On Translucency 50
  1. Find a Geostationary satellite's Geostationary Box
    1. (Free) Go to the Report and Graph Manager for the satellite.
      1. Generate the LLA Position Report.
      2. In the LLA Report, right-click on the Lon(deg) and select Longitude > Properties
      3. In the Properties of the Lon(deg) to find the E/W Box component
        1. Change 'Number of Decimal Digits' to 6
        2. Enable the Summary Options for:
          1. Max / Min / Mean / Summary Only
      4. Repeat this last step for Lat(deg) to find the N/S Box component
      5. In the Report (with more decimal digits and Summary):
        • Find the Min/Max/Mean Longitude and Min/Max/Mean Latitude.┬áThis is the region that this satellite will orbit in (during that interval). Long term trending will need to be completed to determine overal operating Geobox. But with a well-maintained orbit, this box can be accurately determined with <1 month of data
    2. Connect Commands (used in this section)
      1. ReportCreate */Satellite/* Style "LLA Position" Type Display
  1. Create a View in Fixed space at the Geostationary box location:
    1. (Free): Create Dummy Facility at the Geostationary location
      1. Create a default Facility called GoodView
      2. Change the Position of the Facility:
        1. Latitude: 0
        2. Longitude: use longitude of satellite
        3. Altitude: Disable Use Terrain
        4. Altitude: use altitude of satellite
      3. Disable the View of GoodView by clicking the checkbox in the Object Browser
      4. Constraints > Basic: 'Line Of Sight' Disable (using this later)
    2. Connect Commands (used in this section):
      1. New / */Facility GoodView
      2. SetPosition */Facility/GoodView Geodetic 0 **Lon** **Alt**
      3. Note: must enter the **value** from the LLA report you generated
  2. Create a Geostationary Box (Square 100km):
    1. Go to AWB and select Facility/GoodView:
      1. Select the Create New Plane Button,
      2. In the new GUI, change the name GeoBox
      3. Leave all other properties the same
    2. Go to GoodView Properties:
      1. 3D Graphics > Vector:
        1. Select the [Plane] tab
        2. Select [Add] and navigate to the new GeoBox Plane under the facility
        3. Select the GeoBox Plane
          1. Show Axis Labels > Enable
          2. Translucent Plane > Enable at 80% or 90%
          3. Size: 10
          4. Show Rectangular Grid > Enable
        4. Common Options > Component Size
        5. Scale: 4
        6. Note: Scale VS. Size
          1. With Scale of 4, it makes the plane of Size 1 = 10km because the scale is logrithmic. The original size is 1 meter. Log Scale to 4 makes the size 10 km=(1meter x 10^4). Then use the 'Size' to multiply this value. Normally a 100 km is large enough for GEO box.
          2. OverallSize = Size * 10^Scale (meters)
Note: If you do not own the Analysis Workbench, Do not need to create a new Plane, Simply use the BodyXY Plane then Use the Go To GoodView Properties Instructions to view.
  1. Connect Commands
    1. VectorTool * Facility/GoodView Create Plane GeoBox "Normal"
    2. VO */Facility/GoodView SetVectorGeometry Add "Facility/GoodView GeoBox Plane" Show On Translucent On Translucency 0.8 PlaneSize 10.0 ShowAxisLabel On ShowRectGrid On
    3. VO */Facility/GoodView ScaleLog 3
    4. VO */Facility/GoodView ModelDetail Set ModelLabel .001
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