SaVi is a true cross-platform, completely free and open source graphical software that can be used to view satellite constellations found on Earth’s orbit. It is a visualization program that allows users to create, modify, examine and execute satellite orbits in 2D and 3D.
The application includes various satellite constellations, such as Iridium, Galileo, O3b, Globalstar, Sirius Radio and GPS (Global Positioning System). To work, it requires the Tcl/Tk libraries, as well as the Geomview for 3D visualizations.
Features at a glance
Key features include support for several satellites, an easy-to-use and intuitive graphical user interface (GUI), support for multiple Earth projections, support for multiple operating systems, Geomview compatibility, support for OpenGL, as well as optional 3D viewing capabilities.
A wide variety of constellations are supported by SaVi. Among the most popular ones, we can mention COMMstellation, Ellipso, ICO, NUONCE, Aries, Macrocell, Odyssey, Spaceway NGSO, Boeing Higgings patent, Deligo, ICO, SkyBridge, Teledesic and Celestri.
Getting started with SaVi
Its graphical user interface is written in Tk, which means that it will look quite old for the modern era we live in. Along with the main window of the application, another dialog will open when fire up the application for the first time, displaying comments about certain satellites.
From the File menu, the user will be able to load satellites, as well as to save them as Tcl scripts. You will also be able to edit simulation constants, selected satellite or create a new satellite from the Edit menu.
Under the hood, supported OSes and architectures
Taking a look under the hood of the SaVi project, we can mention that the C, Unix Shell and Tcl programming languages have been used to write it. The program has been engineered to be compatible with all GNU/Linux distributions, as well as with the FreeBSD, Solaris, Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X operating systems. Currently, both 32-bit and 64-bit computer architectures are supported.