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.
PocketSat3 is a full-featured satellite tracking application for iPhone and iPod Touch devices, and is designed to be usable by both experienced satellite trackers as well as novices who are just interested in knowing when they can look up in the sky and see satellites. It is the 3rd major revision in the PocketSat series from BigFatTail, which has set the standard for handheld satellite tracking since 1999.
PocketSat3 can display real-time plots of multiple satellites on both Earth maps and Sky charts. It also includes tools to predict when satellites will pass overhead and potentially be visible.
NOTE: PocketSat3 is a large and complex application and before you decide to purchase it you should visit:
and have a look at a more detailed description, read the full documentation, and perhaps visit the PocketSat user forum to ask any questions you might have.
You might also want to check out PocketSat3 LE, also for the iPhone.
Features of PocketSat3 include:
- Configurable to compute satellite visibility from any location on Earth. Can query the device for your current location.
- Orbital data can be downloaded directly from the Internet, even if it is in a zip file.
- Track and plot real-time positions of up to 1000 satellites simultaneously.
- Map view shows satellite position and orbit track on an Earth map.
- Sky view shows satellite position and path in the sky, as well as current brightness. The Sun, Moon, stars and constellations can also be plotted.
- "Red" display mode to preserve night vision.
- Flexible application clock can be set to any date and time as well as clock rate, allowing “what happens when…” experiments. You can make time stand still or even go backwards if you wish. A single button press restores the clock to current system time.
- Internal SNTP client can keep clock in sync with network time servers.
- "Pass" mode allows pre-calculation of satellites that will pass over a particular location during a given time span, including filters for minimum altitude, brightness and whether or not a satellite is lit by the Sun and thus potentially visible.
- System alarms can be set to remind you when a pre-calculated pass is about to occur, even if PocketSat3 is not currently active.
- Does not require an Internet connection to operate, though you will periodically need one in order to download orbital data.
- Predicts Iridium flare events. Not just the really bright ones: ALL of them.
- Uses full "revised" SGP4 and SDP4 orbit propagation algorithms, allowing accurate tracking of any satellite.