GE-1 Azimuth/Elevation computer
Including solar alignment for current day
Greetings. Given the require parameters, this page will
attempt to compute the azimuth and elevation to the
GE-1 geostationary satellite. Additionally, it will try
to provide a "solar alignment" time -- that is, a time
when the Sun should be lined up behind the satellite. The
image below illustrates the concept:
GE-1 Solar alignment
The plan: It's easier to point a dish at the Sun than to
point it at some arbitrary spot in the sky. With good weather,
a good watch, and knowledge of the "solar alignment" time, you
may be able to align your dish's azimuth without a compass. (You
might still need a protractor for your elevation, however.)
If you don't know your latitude or longitude, visit the
US Census bureau's Tigermap
I've loaded up the form with some values (my lat/long/altitude),
so just click "submit" to see a sample run.
The times reported by this application are UTC, also called
GMT. You will need to adjust them for your own time zone. For
instance, to correct for Pacific Standard Time, subtract 8 hours
from the UTC time.
This is a beta application -- the information returned
could be completely wrong! Please let me know if you
discover something goofy -- especially if you put
in "real" values, from which the application
reports "Unable to determine solar alignment (sorry)". Thanks.
Robert W. Berger, N3EMO, for the n3emo orbit library
Elwood Charles Downey for xephem, which
I used to make the skymapper graphics.
A list of Sky mapping software (including the orbit library)
can be found at
"Fire, Mr. Sulu!"