PocketSat - Satellite Tracking Software for the PalmPilot

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Current Version: 2.4 (upgrade info)

Have you ever looked up just after sunset or before sunrise and watched a steady light moving slowly across the night sky? It may well have been a man-made satellite, many of which are visible to the naked eye - if you know when and where to look. PocketSat is an application that allows you to predict when satellites will be visible in your location, or to identify one that you happen to have seen.

PocketSat includes the following features:

bullet Customizable to compute satellite visibility from any location on Earth.
bullet Able to import orbital data for an arbitrary number of satellites from a variety of publicly available sources.
bullet Able to simultaneously compute passes for a user-selected set of satellites over a user-defined time period.
bullet Real-time sky plots with continuously updated satellite positions.
bullet Detailed information display for each satellite.
bullet Support for color PalmPilots, including a red "night vision" mode.
bullet Plus other new features.

For those that are interested in such things, it is worth mentioning that PocketSat uses NORAD's state-of-the-art SGP4 algorithm for calculating near-Earth satellite orbits, using full double-precision arithmetic.

A word of warning, however: PocketSat is just the sort of computation-intensive application that the Palm Pilot development manuals say that the machine was not designed for. Calculating the positions of a couple of hundred satellites for a week can put a significant dent in your batteries - I'd strongly recommend rechargeables if you plan on using it a lot. I've had a lot of success with Rayovac Renewals. On the other hand, when you're standing out in a field at night, the Palm Pilot seems just right, even if the backlight is a little too bright for good night vision.

PocketSat is a shareware application. The unregistered version is fully functional, but will only calculate passes for 5 satellites at a time. The registered version of PocketSat can be purchased for US$12.50.

bullet Documentation
bullet Data Sources
bullet Satellite Observation Links
bullet Download trial version
bullet Buy It!

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