How do I change my location?

To rest the app to your current location select the target icon on the right side of the main map. To set a specific location other than your current location, tap on the search icon on the lower right of the main map and enter an address, point of interest, or Latitude/Longitude coordinates. You can scroll and zoom on the map and drop a pin by pressing and holding a location. Once a pin is added to the map select the pin, then the icon next to the name, and choose ‘Set as new location’. Once a new location is chosen, return to the main app page and imaging passes will be recomputed for the new location. Note that satellite image previews and purchases are based on this single SpyMeSat specified location, which can be changed by the user any time.

How do I view the GeoTIFF imagery?

Please follow the steps here for looking at your image. Note that there are other tools available, but this is one of the the best free tools available.Download QGIS Application at the QGIS website

1. Open .tiff file with QGIS

2. Open QGIS Application

3. Select Layer -> AddLayer -> Add Raster Layer

4. Select .tiff file.

5. Use the Zoom tool to zoom to desired level to see buildings or other desired details.

6. Select Project -> Save as Image, and save in desired file format.

How do I view the GeoTIFF imagery that contains multiple band files from KOMPSAT-3?

The three band files for Red, Green, and Blue are located in three different GEOTiff files. These need to be combined into one file for viewing. There are several ways to combine these images, but best way is to open the in Adobe Photoshop.

1. Open all three images in Photoshop

2. From the channels panel menu choose Merge Channels. The Merge Channels dialog box will open. In the Merge Channels dialog box, choose RGB color with 3 channels and click OK.

3. Ensure that the red band image is selected from the drop-down menu for Red, the green band image is selected from the drop-down menu for Green, and the blue band image is selected from the drop-down menu for Blue. Click OK. A new combined image with a Channel for each color is created.

4. For optimal viewing, color may need to be leveled. If needed, from the menu, select Image->Auto Color.

5. If desired, use the crop tool to select a relevant portion of the image.

6. Save file by going to File->Save As, and save in desired file format.

How do I task a satellite to take an image of my selected location?

First, set your SpyMeSat location to where you want to center your image (instructions above), then select the satellite icon at the bottom of the main page and tap on the Task button. This brings up the New Tasking page which shows the imaging satellite (for now just EROS-B), the desired Start and End times which will be used to calculate when the image will be taken, and the size ranging from 2 to 7 Km square. Also, please review the Terms before tasking. To purchase the satellite task select the Task Satellite button at the bottom, the same button also shows the cost for the image. To pay for this you can either use Apply Pay or a credit card. Notifications are provided through the app on the status of the tasking request including confirmation, planned imaging time, image acquired, and delivery information.

How do I combine TripleSat images when tasked area is fulfilled by multiple images?

1. Open QGIS Application

2. Select Layer -> AddLayer -> Add Raster Layer

3. Select all of the .tiff files for your tasked area, and select ok

4. If the layers panel is not enabled, enable it by selecting View -> Panels -> Layers Panel

5. For each layer, select it, click properties. Go to the Tranparancy tab, and in the Additional no data value box input 0

6. Adjust the order of the layers by dragging them into the desired order in the layers panel

How do I purchase a recent satellite image of my current location or any location?

First, set your SpyMeSat location (see the FAQ on changing location above) to where you want to center your image, then tap on the small SpyMeSat icon at the bottom of the main page to bring up the Satellite Imagery page. Select the Search button in the middle of the Satellite Imagery page to bring up a low resolution preview of the available satellite image on the Available Satellite Imagery page. A selection of available images of your location are shown. The 1Km or 2Km buttons are available once an image is chosen to help decide what size image to purchase, and note the information about the image including the Date Acquired and Satellite that took the image. If you like the preview and want to buy the image, simply tap on the Buy Image button at the bottom of the Available Image page. You can register or log in to your SpyMeSat account (to enable sharing across devices and cloud storage) or Continue Purchase to buy anonymously. The last step required is to enter your AppleID password and confirm the purchase. The image will automatically download to the SpyMeSat Satellite Imagery page under View. Tap on any purchased image icon to bring up the full resolution image. Use the Send icon to send the image via email or post it to social media.

How clear of an image can I task using this app?

The EROS-B satellite can take black & white images with a resolution as good as 70cm per pixel, so groups of people may be visible in the image if the color contrast is right. Check out the sample image on this website and in the app itself to get an idea of the image resolution possible.

Why do the same satellites fly over everyday at about the same time?

Most imaging satellites (including all of the satellites in SpyMeSat) are in “ sun-synchronous” orbits. In a Sun-Synchronous orbit, the satellite will cross the equator at the same local time on each orbit, which means that for any given location on the Earth, all of its flyover times will be around the same local time (give or take 90 minutes or so).

Why does SpyMeSat keep recalculating Satellite Passes whenever I bring it up? It is always computing and I never see the results!

SpyMeSat stops running when you close the app or your phone falls asleep. In order to ensure that the user gets a full and complete list of upcoming satellite passes, SpyMeSat will restart the calculations if it was interrupted before completion. So don’t close the SpyMeSat app until the computations are complete. If your phone is going to sleep in the middle of the computations, then increase the Auto-Lock time (under Settings > General) and/or decrease your calculation window to 6 hours.

Does a SpyMeSat imaging pass notification mean that a satellite is taking my picture?

Not necessarily. SpyMeSat provides notifications when a satellite could be imaging your location, but the satellite may have its camera pointed elsewhere within its field of regard or not have its camera on at all. Imaging satellites modeled by SpyMeSat generally takes pictures of areas approximately 10-20 miles wide and up to 100 miles or more in length. But these imaging areas are relatively small compared to the very large (~1200 mile diameter) area that a satellite could point within at any time.

Does SpyMeSat include all imaging satellites?

No. SpyMeSat includes imaging satellites with resolution capabilities of 5m or better for which orbit information is published by NORAD. For the most part these are commercial satellites or publicly-acknowledged government satellites from other countries. For many of them anyone can obtain images (new or archived). No classified imaging satellites (from any nation) have their orbit information published, so these satellites are not included in the SpyMeSat app.

Where does the information displayed in SpyMeSat come from?

Orbit information comes from the Celestrak website, which is driven by data published by NORAD. The SpyMeSat app uses this orbit data to predict the positions of the satellites. Satellite sensor (camera) capabilities come from the individual satellite operator websites or other public internet sources. SpyMeSat uses the sensor data to predict potential image resolutions and the field of regard of the satellite. Combining the orbit data and sensor data with basic computations leads to the predicted imaging opportunities and dynamic position and resolution data displayed in the SpyMeSat app.

How many satellites are in space?

More than 5,000 satellites have been launched into space since Sputnik in 1957. If you include space debris (old rocket parts, etc.) there are over 10,000 artificial objects in space orbiting the Earth today. Of these, fewer than 1,000 are actually still operational (the rest having run their useful life and now orbit essentially as dead space junk). And only a small percentage of operational satellites have cameras on them and are used for Earth observation. Other satellite types include navigation (e.g. GPS), research (e.g. Hubble telescope), communications (e.g. satellite TV, telecommunications).

Can satellites see through clouds?

Optical imaging satellites (panchromatic and multi-spectral sensors) cannot see through clouds. RADAR satellites (Synthetic Aperture RADAR (SAR) sensors) can see through clouds and can see at night, but the images generated are without color.

How fast do satellites move?

All of the imaging satellites in SpyMeSat are in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) at an altitude of about 500 miles. LEO satellites move at approximately 16,000 miles per hour and complete a full orbit of the Earth about every 90 minutes! The orbital speed is a balance with gravity. Too slow and the satellite will fall back to Earth. Too fast and the satellite will zoom away from Earth. But if the speed is just right for the altitude, then the satellite will stay in a stable orbit. Sometimes small orbit adjustments are required (using thrusters on the satellite) to compensate for atmospheric drag or solar wind to keep the satellite in a stable orbit.

What is Azimuth and Elevation?

Azimuth and Elevation define the position of the satellite relative to your selected location. Azimuth tells you what direction to face and is measured from north (0 degrees) in a clockwise direction, so east is 90 degrees, south is 180 degrees, and west is 270 degrees, etc. Once you are facing the correct direction based on Azimuth you need to know how high up to look, and that is what Elevation tells you. Zero (0) elevation means the satellite is at the horizon, and 90 degrees elevation is straight up, so 45 degrees is about halfway, etc. The Azimuth and Elevation of the satellite will change as the satellite passes over your location, and these changing values are displayed by SpyMeSat during possible imaging times.

Will SpyMeSat still work when I don’t have internet access?

Yes! SpyMeSat automatically retrieves updated orbit information from the SpyMeSat server when an internet connection is available, but if the app cannot reach the server for any reason it can work from older orbit data stored in the app. After a few (3-4) days without connecting to the server, the precision of the imaging opportunity computations may start to be affected, however. After a week or more without an internet connection to the SpyMeSat server for new orbit data, SpyMeSat imaging opportunities should be considered suspect.

Why are satellite passes for radar satellites so short?

Unlike optical satellites which can rotate the camera to look at different locations as they fly, radar satellites typically point in one direction and sweep over the earth. SpyMeSat knows this, and only takes into account those brief moments you're likely to be in the path of the radar satellite's imaging area.

How do I disable notifications?

Tap on the settings icon in the lower right of the main app page. At the bottom of the Alerts section, you'll find a Notifications on/off switch. Toggling that to off will cancel the alerts you're getting when SpyMeSat is off.

Why do some archive images show a lot of white space?

Satellite cameras are like regular cameras in that they take pictures of specific areas. If the area of the satellite image does not fully cover the area you are looking for, any uncovered area will show as white space. SpyMeSat does not combine multiple satellite images to fully cover your location of interest.

How is pricing determined?

Pricing of archive images and new tasking is set by the satellite operator. Usually newer archive images are more expensive than older images, although sometimes images of specific events in the past are higher cost due to the demand for the images. Usually higher resolution satellites cost more than lower resolution satellites for new tasking, but this is not always the case . . . check the capabilities of the satellite and compare prices before choosing! SpyMeSat provides all the information you need to make an informed choice.

I can't enter a comma for the lat/lon on my andriod phone?

Your default keyboard may not have the comma on the small keyboard. We recomend downloading the Google stock keyboard and using it as default when using SpyMeSat

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