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PREDICT Version 2.1.0 For Linux Released



The latest version of PREDICT for the Linux operating system has been
released.  The major features of version 2.1.0 include:

* Fully year 2000 compliant.

* Designed under the Linux operating system to permit operation on a
  wide and expanding variety of hardware platforms ranging from palmtops
  to supercomputers (including 32-bit PCs (80386s or better) and Macintosh
  PowerPCs).

* Open source licensing allows anyone to contribute new features to
  the program while forever keeping the software, and any derivative
  works, non-proprietary and freely available.

* A *FAST* orbital prediction mode that predicts in advance passes of
  satellites, providing dates, times, coordinates, slant range distances,
  and sunlight and optical visibility information.  Predictions are
  displayed in tabular form and may be saved to a log file for later
  reference, printing, or parsing by other programs.

* An optical visual orbital prediction mode that displays satellite
  passes that may be optically visible to the groundstation.

* A solar illumination prediction mode that calculates how much time
  a satellite will spend in sunlight per day.

* A real-time tracking mode that provides dynamic information such as
  sub-satellite point, groundstation azimuth and elevation headings,
  Doppler shift, path loss, slant range, orbital altitude, orbital velocity,
  footprint diameter, orbital phase, the time and date of the next AOS
  (or LOS of the current pass), orbit number, and sunlight and visibility
  information for a single satellite, while providing live azimuth and
  elevation headings for both the sun and moon.

* A multi-tracking mode that provides sub-satellite point, azimuth and
  elevation headings, sunlight and visibility, and slant range distance
  information for all 24 satellites in the program's current database
  on a real-time basis.  Azimuth and elevation headings for the sun and
  moon are also provided, as a well as a listing of the AOS dates and
  times for the next three satellites expected to come into range of
  the groundstation.

* Provides static information such as semimajor axis of ellipse,
  apogee and perigee altitudes, and anomalistic and nodal periods
  of satellite orbits.

* Command line options permit alternate groundstation locations to be
  specified or alternate orbital databases to be read and processed by
  the program, effectively allowing an UNLIMITED number of satellites
  to be tracked and managed.  Additional options allow any orbital
  database file to be automatically updated using NASA Two-Line element
  data obtained via the Internet or via pacsat satellite without having
  to enter the program and manually select menu options to update the
  database.

* A voice mode allows live azimuth and elevation headings of a satellite
  to be articulated to an observer to assist in locating a satellite by
  optical means.

* PREDICT can now act as a socket-based server and be used to supply
  real-time tracking data, such as azimuth and elevation headings,
  footprint diameters, sub-satellite point latitude and longitude
  headings, normalized Doppler shift data, and next predicted AOS times
  to external programs such as rotator control software, graphical map
  tracking software, or radio frequency control programs residing either
  on the host machine, or on any networked client using the UDP
  communications protocol.


Changes from the previous version include:

* A solar illumination feature was added to predict the percentage
  of time a satellite spends in sunlight per day.

* Orbital predictions for satellites that appear to have decayed
  since the last Keplerian orbital update are no longer attempted
  by the program.

* Date and time used to start orbital predictions may now be
  abbreviated to Day/Month/Year only (00:00:00 is assumed).

* System clock/calendar is now read to millisecond precision,
  permitting more "lively" real-time tracking mode displays. 

* "vocalizer" code was changed to use a slightly different (better)
   approach towards initializing and sending data to the system
   soundcard.

* Socket-based server code was contributed by Ivan Galysh, KD4HBO.
  It allows PREDICT to export real-time tracking data for all 24
  satellites to external client programs, such as automatic antenna
  rotator controllers, graphical map display programs, or TX/RX
  tuning controllers.  The server features are activated by invoking
  PREDICT with a -s switch.  Communication between server and clients
  is by way of the UDP protocol.  Real-time data is exported by PREDICT
  in both the single satellite and multi-satellite tracking modes.
  
* The command-line parsing code was modified to prevent segmentation
  faults from occurring if command-line options are incorrectly issued.

* Some minor coding changes were made.


PREDICT is free software, and may be downloaded from:

	ftp://ftp.amsat.org/amsat/software/Linux/predict-2.1.0.tar.gz

Further information on PREDICT software is available via the web at:

	http://www.linuxfan.com/~predict

(This page will be updated over the weekend.)

An article describing the development and use of PREDICT will be available
in the July (Science and Engineering) issue of "Linux Journal" magazine.

Happy Tracking!


73, de John, KD2BD

--
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- John A. Magliacane, KD2BD -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Internet  : kd2bd@amsat.org          |  Voice : +1.732.224.2948
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Packet    : KD2BD @ N2TDU.NJ.USA.NA  |  WWW   : http://www.njin.net/~magliaco/
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-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Linux Doesn't Cost.  It Pays. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

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