Re: [stellarium:discussion] satellites.json missing "lastUpdated line"??

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2012-10-30
2012-10-30
  • Greg Roberts
    Greg Roberts
    2012-10-30

    Morning Waldo

    I find your comments on satellites very interesting.

    Unfortunately I do not use STELLARIUM for my satellite work as I think the way one has to get orbital data into STELLARIUM sucks.

    I dont know why the conventional method of just reading a standard satellite TLE file from a directory cant be used instead of the clumsy way now used -- incidentally if I were to use STELLARIUM for satellite tracking it would have to be useable without an internet connection to load the elements in since the computer that controls my tracking setup does not have an internet connection..

    Im very interested in how you actually go about entering data.

    I have done it from time to time but mostly by trial and error as its not that obvious from the help data that appears in STELLARIUM so if you have an easier way I would certainly be interested.

    Apart from that STELLARIUM is a beautiful program and it would be nice if it could easily be used for serious satellite observing.

    As to the best program available -- have you tried HEAVENSAT ? - this is what most serious observers use and was specifically written for amateur satellite trackers- also freeware.

    Best wishes
    Greg

     
    • waldo kitty
      waldo kitty
      2012-10-30

      Unfortunately I do not use STELLARIUM for my satellite work as I think the way one has to get orbital data into STELLARIUM sucks.


      interesting... in what way? it is no different than updating any satellite program with TLEs from any internet resource, really... one can also write the information directly to the JSON file if they desire... the format isn't that bad although it is space consuming... i've already got one of my programs outputting the data in the stellarium satellite JSON format but i'm not actively using it at this time on my setup(s)... it would be very nice if stellarium would notice the JSON file has changed underneath it and automatically reload it with the new data... or maybe recognize a disk-based semaphore file which tells stellarium to reload the satellite JSON file when it has been updated behind the scenes... that might be something that has to be done with a stellarium script, though...

      I dont know why the conventional method of just reading a standard satellite TLE file from a directory cant be used instead of the clumsy way now used -- incidentally if I were to use STELLARIUM for satellite tracking it would have to be useable without an internet connection to load the elements in since the computer that controls my tracking setup does not have an internet connection..


      but... but... but... one can update their TLEs from a local files... i've not actually done it but if the docs are correct, you just tell the satellite module to not update from internet resources... instead you provide it the name of the local files to use as if they were internet URLs... just leave off the "http" part... i've not actually done this (yet) so it may require the "file" prefix in place of the "http" one... this is something that i'll be looking into at some point because i do run several satellite tracking programs and each having to have their own sets of TLE files is a real space hog on any system so i try to point them all to the same local files...

      heck, i still run STSPLUS but that one has some serious memory limitations so i run it with a very limited set of TLEs ;) somewhere around here i have a setup which automatically updates a page on my web site with the most recent automatic screenshot from STSPLUS... i used to mainly run it when the shuttles were flying but that has been a while now... at some point, this will be updated to be done by another program that has the same capability of taking automatic screenshots and my background tasks can then upload the file to the server :P

      of course, stellarium and its satellite module are still under development and there is still a lot of room for the satellite module to grow... i just wish that i could provide some assistance with the code but it is written in C and i'm not a C coder... i can read C and write some small stuff but i much prefer pascal ;) so i spend more time using the program and making notes about things that might be done another way or things that i've run into so that i can slowly try to report them to those who can make the code changes and implement or fix them :)

      WISHLIST: i can't wait for stellarium to have the ability to have pictures of the satellites so that when we use the '/' key to zoom in or we use the oculars module, we can actually see the satellite as it might look if we were out there with it in space ;)

      As to the best program available -- have you tried HEAVENSAT ? - this is what most serious observers use and was specifically written for amateur satellite trackers- also freeware.


      yes, i do have heavensat here and use it from time to time... the big thing is that my 70+yo father will use stellarium as will my cousins, nieces and nephews whereas when they look at other satellite software i use, their eyes glaze over and they get lost posting/playing on facebook or myspace or some other social networking site ;)

      beauty is in the eye of the beholder... for ease of use, stellarium is very pretty and works well... heavensat, on the other hand is a bit more complicated... many folks just want to be able to sit outside looking at the sky... no binocs, compasses or look-angle tools... when they see something flying overhead, they simply want to correlate it with what's on a (night vision) computer screen and say, "yes, that moving light there is xyz satellite" or "whoa! that one we just saw burning and breaking up was (some debris from) abc satellite." you should see the looks on their faces when i'm able to show them Vanguard 1 and tell them how long it has been up there :) :) :)

       
  • Bogdan Marinov
    Bogdan Marinov
    2012-10-30

    Hello.

    It seems that you have managed to post to Stellarium's Feedback forum by replying to a notification e-mail. Either that, or you have clicked on the wrong button. :) In all cases, your post is in a different thread than the post you were replying to.

    I dont know why the conventional method of just reading a standard satellite TLE file from a directory cant be used instead of the clumsy way now used -- incidentally if I were to use STELLARIUM for satellite tracking it would have to be useable without an internet connection to load the elements in since the computer that controls my tracking setup does not have an internet connection..

    If you uncheck the "Update from Internet sources" box in the Satellites plug-in configuration window, a new button will appear that allows you to update from files. The "Add new satellite" button will also change its behavior and ask to load a file when you open it.

    I have done it from time to time but mostly by trial and error as its not that obvious from the help data that appears in STELLARIUM so if you have an easier way I would certainly be interested.

    In the most recent versions of the plug-in, adding one or more new satellites from a list is easy - just use the "+" button to open the appropriate sub-window.

    The Stellarium Wiki has a page about the Satellites plugin. It's slightly out of date, but I believe the sections describing the format of the satellites.json file is updated.

     
    Last edit: Alexander Wolf 2012-10-30


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