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GorbTrack

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GorbTrack

GorbTrack or Geostationary Orbit Tracker is a freeware program intended to be an aid in finding geostationary satellites. It produces output helpful in aiming dishes for receiving television broadcast satellites. The program also displays several astronomical values like the positions of the sun and moon. GorbTrack can read files provided by NIMA with the locations of thousands of cities for countries around the world, with the exception of the USA.

The program calculates the positions of the satellites with the help of an external module, DJTSatLib.dll, created by David Taylor. This module uses the SGP4/SDP4 algorithms implemented by TS Kelso. The module works by loading so-called element sets or two-line data, which contain the primary orbital parameters of the satellites for a given time. The program can then calculate the positions of the satellites based upon these parameters using the SGP4/SDP4 model. The element sets have to be regularly updated, the program automatically downloads the primary file (Geo.txt) once a week from the Internet.

GorbTrack can freely be used and redistributed. The current version is 0.4, January 2004.

Download GorbTrack.zip

To install please unzip to a temporary folder and run Setup.exe. The program has been tested on Windows 98, Windows NT and Windows 2000. Currently the only documentation is the description in the Readme file.

When you start using GorbTrack please set your location in the Location tab. You can use the Country / City boxes or type your longitude, latitude and height in the corresponding fields. To make this the default location select Tools - Options and click Default.

On the Sat Info tab many parameters of the selected satellite can be found. The filter buttons can be used to restrict the number of displayed satellites. The time and date can be edited to see how the data changes over time. To enable you to find the satellites GorbTrack produces a number of maps, which show the satellites from different perspectives:

  • The Clarke Belt shows the band of satellites over the horizon visible from your location.
  • The Ground Map or Azimuth Map shows the horizontal directions to the satellites over the ground plane.
  • The Sun Dial shows the same map combined with a vertical sundial. If you print it out and lay it on the ground with a vertical stick in the center you can easily find the south and the directions to the satellites. An example is shown in the about box. As it is a vertical sundial it is only valid for a few days.
  • The Hour Angle Map displays the angles to the satellites for a polar mounted dish rotor.
  • The Elevation Map shows the vertical angles to the satellites.

Have fun!