pTrack is a satellite tracking program for the Windows CE / Pocket PC palmtop computer. It was designed with simplicity in mind and does not support all the features found in larger satellite tracking packages.
Since I am responsible for the spacecraft operations atSurrey Satellite Technology Ltd I wrote pTrack primarily to warn me prior to acquisition of signal (AOS) from any of the spacecraft. Additionally, SSTL has customer groundstations worldwide and I needed to know when a satellite would pass over those groundstations.
Primary features of pTrack -:
I am using pTrack on a Casio E-105. Others are using it on other palmtop computers and it should run on any computers running Windows CE 2.11 or above. I haven’t tested it on Pocket PC (Windows CE 3.0). It has also been run on a handheld device under CE, however this will look rather strange!
Unfortunately, pTrack does not have an installation program (sorry!).
To install pTrack follow these steps -:
Implementation notes and known bugs
At the moment, Palmtop computers and CE aren’t exactly the fastest computers around. While writing the program, I found it took an eternity to calculate the 24-hour pass list when you select that option. To get around this, pTrack calculates and maintains this list in the background. If you have your palmtop switched off for a long time, it can take a while to recalculate a full days passes. It is also possible for pTrack to get a little confused and possibly miss a pass if you turn your computer off and on repeatedly while it is generating this list – don’t worry, it will sort itself out.
I know that there is a bug with the alarm times during summer time.
pTrack is written using Visual C and uses the SGP4 orbital propagator for highest accuracy.
If you have comments on pTrack, please let me know byemail – don’t expect a reply. Suggestions are also welcome, however remember that this software is designed as a lightweight satellite tracker. Additionally, until the processing power of palmtop computers increases it will not be possible to do too much more (I know – this probably won’t take very long!).
This software is copyright bySurrey Satellite Technology Ltd and pTrack is available for NON-COMMERCIAL use only. Commercial users, or users who intend to use pTrack as part of a larger ground segment, should contact the author at SSTL.
Two versions are currently available for different processors – theMIPS version, and the SH3 version.