Satellite Augmented Reality now in Android Market

Ever wondered what satellites are flying above your head when you look up? AGI has developed an Android app that will show them to you using augmented reality. Point your phone’s camera to the sky, and small icons track the locations of various satellites. For many, a line indicates their projected path across the sky. Those flying in sunlight are labeled in yellow, and those in the shadow of the Earth or Moon, in blue.

This yellow and blue coloring is useful to casual observers who go out looking at the night sky for satellites. Typically, those in shadow (blue) are not visible at all, while satellites in Sun (yellow) may be visible even to the naked eye, depending on size, altitude, and other factors. The best time to spot satellites is often just after dusk or just before dawn, when the Earth’s shadow is at a steep enough angle from the observer’s point of view that the satellites above are still lit by direct sunlight.

The app also contains a simple star map. The brightest 2000 stars are shown as white dots on the screen, to help the user align the app’s display with the sky above.

To get more info about Satellite AR, click here.

To get the app on your own Android phone, launch Android Market and search for “Analytical Graphics.”  The name of the app is Satellite AR.  Alternately, if you have a barcode reader on your phone, just scan the barcode below:

[UPDATED 11-23-2010] Here is a video of Satellite AR in action!

About emackey

Space, coding, 3D stuff, HTML 5, Android, small shiny objects, and whatever else seems cool.
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47 Responses to Satellite Augmented Reality now in Android Market

  1. Kyle Cordell says:

    Sounds like a great app. Any plans to have, or is it already, on the iPhone?

  2. bill says:

    iPhone app please

  3. Brad says:

    Hi guys, I just tried to download your app but it looks like its been removed? Please let us know where we can get it, thanks.

  4. Brad says:

    hey there guys, sorry for the late reply, didn’t know you would be this swift! haha

    I have the 2.1 version of android. I have a few other users that have said they can’t get the app either. It’s not an issue in the app working, it’s in actually finding it, it just comes up and says the app is missing on the market it appears.

    Thanks guys, I’ll pop back soon to see any replies.
    B

  5. Brad says:

    I’m sure it won’t be this but worth asking, it’s not a geospecific download is it? (in the android market place)
    I’m in South Africa.

    Just to also let you know, we’ve come across a few others (other apps) that we can’t find on the market either. Perhaps the market might be having a bad two weeks? haha I know the market was down around the 18th I think, so perhaps that knocked a few bytes the wrong direction.
    B

    • emackey says:

      Brad, it shouldn’t be geo-specific. I know Google recently performed some significant upgrades to the developer side of the market, but I wouldn’t expect side-effects to make apps unavailable to users. Can you tell me the exact message you’re seeing, and what was the last thing you clicked on before seeing the error?

  6. Brad says:

    Hi emackey,

    Sure. I used the QR Code to get the address and that then asked for confirmation for going through to the market. I get the following:

    “There are no matches in Android Market for the search: pname:com.agi.android.augmentedreality

    Suggestions:
    Make sure all words are spelled correctly etc…”

    I’ve done a search for “agi” and “satellite ar” and “analytical graphics” too but don’t come up with anything :(

  7. Brad says:

    I’m guessing that you guys have tried the link your side today and it works? That would be very odd then, that would mean an issue on the SA side of ISP’s. hmm

    • emackey says:

      I did try it just now, and it finds it without problem. As you know the Market filters apps not just geographically but also based on the type of device and version of Android in use. But from our conversation it doesn’t sound like you have any issues that should have disqualified your device. What make/model is it?

      The error message you got does seem to indicate that the Market is hiding this app from your device, although the reason remains unclear for now.

  8. Brad says:

    We thought that might be the issue but the msg it was giving we didnt think it was relevent to a wrong type of model etc. but sounds like we were wrong lol

    In SA only two android phones are here, the Samsung Galaxy S and i550. I have the Samsung Galaxy i550. It has a smaller screen than the Galaxy S, perhaps its resolution problem and so it doesnt allow it to download? All I can think of as it has everything else, processing power, 2.1 version, all the bells, works with Google skymap, Layar etc.

    You think it could be the resolution maybe? Seems the only possiblity?

  9. Brad says:

    one way we could try is, as it is a free app, maybe you guys could email it to me directly (the .apk file) and I’ll test it that way? Maybe thats an alternative?

  10. Brad says:

    Been doing some googling, seems its a common issue with the android market. One did a test with a phone op and they used the same phone, different operator simcards and one found an app, the other didn’t… now that is confusing hahaha seems I’ll have to plug in another phone service provider and see if it sees it?

  11. Brad says:

    Hey guys,
    k, that didn’t work, tried another service provider and it turned it down too. Got a feeling its something to do with the google accounts too as mentioned in a posting I found, some kind of google location setting possibly.
    Is there another way to get the apk install file by email perhaps? Seems like the only way for now?
    B

  12. emackey says:

    Brad, sounds like it might be a resolution issue. Maybe I have to flag the APK to allow it to be visible to 240 x 320 displays. I’ll have to look it up.

  13. Brad says:

    yeah found some other posts recently talking about res issue to. Thanks mate, looking forward to see if the change is possible and if it works, would be great to have the app :)
    btw needing to contact you guys over your STK package, will be in touch.

    I’ll check back here later to see if you’ve made any changes.
    Thanks for the help and patience!
    B

  14. Duncan says:

    I got the same phone as Brad, and am in the same location. Eagerly awaiting the fix :-)

    • emackey says:

      Duncan, and Brad, can you look for this app on the market again? I updated some of the filtering options, so it will be visible on more devices now. It still requires Android 2.1 or better, though.

  15. John Ianni says:

    Please contact me about this app.

  16. Lance says:

    iPhone app please!

  17. Richard Hurst says:

    iPhone please

  18. Wes says:

    A very nice and easy to use app. Is there any way to see all objects or at least select multiple categories? I’m also curious where you get the CubeSat trajectory data.

    Thanks for bringing space a little closer!

  19. David says:

    I would love to see an iPhone version.

  20. jerem says:

    Is it possible to get the source code ?
    Thanks.

  21. Mark says:

    App Not found with my trusty T-Mobile G1, do I really need to buy a new phone to run this?

  22. Ubirajara says:

    Hi, friends.
    Congratulations for this great app.
    I am running it fine on my samsung galaxy 5.
    But i cant read sattelite mames due toquantity. I need to position my tv ku band antenna to some satellites like Hispasat but i cant see only this. Is there a selection option by name?
    Thank you in advance,
    Ubirajara

    • emackey says:

      We’re thinking about ways to make the view a little clearer. The Geostationary belt is so crowded that it’s hard to see anything. We might put in a pinch-zoom feature, or some kind of declutter mechanism. Or maybe we should ask the user to input the names or longitudes of geo sats they’re interested in, for example if they know they need to talk to an Echostar at 110 degrees west, maybe I should just let them put that directly in and see that satellite alone. Lots of options, not sure which is best.

  23. Andy Gates says:

    That’s really very nice. Sadly it gives a “camera initialisation error” on a Motorola Defy (2.1)

    • emackey says:

      Andy, from the main screen (the list of satellite groups), click Menu, Preferences, Background. Set the background to be blue or black instead of the camera background. Let me know if that works!

  24. satphones says:

    Surely is a useful iphone application. Where can we get this one?

  25. Pingback: Augmented Reality Satellite App

  26. androidSAT says:

    Unable to get from from a Galaxy S with a modified ROM… It doesn’t appear on the market

    • emackey says:

      That’s odd. I assume the ROM is newer than v2.1. In addition to a minimum version, the app has some feature filtering on it. Quoting:

      This apk requests 4 features that will be used for Android Market filtering:
      android.hardware.location
      android.hardware.touchscreen
      android.hardware.sensor.compass
      android.hardware.sensor.accelerometer

    • emackey says:

      Update! I just discovered the app had become un-published from Android Market somehow. I just re-published it, so it should be back online within the hour. Not sure what happened there. Check back soon!

  27. Doug says:

    Thanks for the Satellite AR app. On the Motorola Xoom (Honeycomb),the display is always sideways (horizon is vertical), no matter which position I hold the tablet. Can this be fixed?

    • emackey says:

      Hi Doug, this is fixed in version 2.0 which was just uploaded to Android Market last night. Also, the whole interface has been redesigned to be tablet-friendly. Download the new one and let us know what you think. Thanks!!

  28. Jeremy says:

    Hi, I would love this app on the iPhone.
    Any further updates regarding availability on the iPhone?

  29. Zedumfore says:

    I use this app for doing satellite installs and have a question/request…
    would it be possible to add a feature where we could save past searches as an item on the menu… ?
    I have to search for ‘Anik F’ each time I do a Shaw Direct install, and always wonder what category F1 and F2 are in.

    Thanks for your great tool that I now use almost daily.
    ~ dish installer from a small town in the mountains, B.C., Canada

    • emackey says:

      Hi Zedumfore,

      Recently I added a number of Satellite TV providers to the main menu, so after reading your comment here I added ANIK to the menu as well. Currently there’s no option for saved searches, but it seems like a lot of people were talking about searching for the same types of satellites, so I’m trying to identify them and add them to the menu. Thanks!

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