iPhone App Tracks Which Satellites Are Tracking You
Orbit Logic of Greenbelt, Md., has created SpyMeSat, an iOS app that notifies a user when an imaging spacecraft might have them in sight. The app tracks spy satellites and unclassified imaging satellites, and displays a map of orbit tracks, as well as the location of remote sensing satellites with upcoming passes over a user’s specified location.
For over a decade, Orbit Logic has developed and deployed advanced space mission planning and scheduling solutions. The technology the company typically sells gives aerospace mission planners, engineers and operators the ability to define and configure systems, constraints and scheduling goals. The $1.99 SpyMeSat app is a deviation from that norm.
Alex Herz, president of Orbit Logic, calls SpyMeSat a product that extends the company’s customer base beyond the aerospace, defense and government intelligence communities. “I actually got the idea for the app from talking to friends outside the aerospace industry who were always very interested in space and satellites and imaging from space. This app answers those questions in a fun and interactive way,” Herz said.
That information SpyMeSat provides is an amalgam of available public information about commercial and international imaging satellites. SpyMeSat draws data from multiple sources, including orbit data from the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). The NORAD spacecraft data comes via CelesTrak, a website designed to provide tools that support tracking satellites and understanding orbital mechanics.
SpyMeSat can be organized in several ways, and can define a satellite’s trajectory around a user’s location, and can show an alert when a camera-equipped or scanning satellite is in range. iPhone users can learn more details about which satellites might be overheard, and specific locations and satellites can be pinpointed.
Image via WikiMedia Commons.