Satellite Tracking

Satellite tracking is any activity in which the position or flight progress of an orbiting object is monitored. Tracking is used for visual observation, active or passive radio communication, or simply following the current location and ground track of the satellite.

The two most common tracking activities are: satellite pass predictions and real-time satellite tracking. Both of these activities usually involve computations by satellite tracking software, generally using Keplerian elements to describe the satellite orbits.

Some good links for information about orbiting satellites are the Space Command Satellite Catalog Web page and the Space Command Satellite Box Score Web page. The satellite catalog provides information and Keplerian orbital data. The box score is a summary, by nation, of satellites currently on orbit.

Another excellent source of satellite-related links is the Aerospace Navigator Web page.

The Aerospace Navigator

Tracking monitors a satellite's  flight progress

Real-time tracking shows the satellite's current location and heading

Pass Predictions tell you when the satellite rises above or sets below your local horizon

Computer software is the most common tracking tool