What a beautiful photo! Ariane 5 V188 with Herschel and Planck on board rises above ESA’s 15m ESTRACK tracking station at Kourou, French Guiana, just after liftoff at 15:12 CEST, 14 May 2009.
Finally, the Gpredict 1.0 beta 2 release has come together, featuring a completely rewritten radio controller / Doppler tuning algorithm. It became a bit more complicated than I originally anticipated, because the incoming requests for improvement of the original controller did not limit themselves to controlling the downlink and the uplink, but also called for using two different radios.
Given that there are very few full-duplex radios out there designed for satellite communications and that they are very expensive, I found this request to be very reasonable and decided to implement it. The resulting controller should be able to work using receivers, transmitters, half-duplex transceivers, and combination of those. Full-duplex has not been implemented, because I am not sure whether hamlib is able to do that properly. That will be implemented in one of the upcoming betas.
The new radio control UI. See more screenshots.
I just realized that the last time I have blogged about my pet project, Gpredict, was back in February 2007. Back then, the big news was the Sky at a Glance function and there has in fact been a lot of evolution since then despite the big silence in the Gpredict Developer Blog. Let me try to sum up the progress from last two years as well as what you can expect to happen in the weeks to come.
Although gpredict has some very good satellite pass prediction functions, I have been missing a sky at a glance feature that can quickly show when the satellites will be up during the next X hours. After a few weeks of casual hacking, this feature is now ready for testing.