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I'm trying to find out the meaning of azimuth and elevation form the perspective of a geosynchronous satellite. So if I'm trying to direct a radio beam toward earth from a communication satellite and I'm given azimuth and elevation values from the perspective of the satellite what do they mean, exactly?

Edit: I'm not sure I can specify the details of the system I'm working on, as it's proprietary. But what I am trying to do (well model, it's not real world) is define a beam footprint on earth from a communication satellite. The software allows the user to define a beam using a number of parameters, but the ones that relate to the position of the centre of the (circular) beam are Azimuth and Elevation. I believe that these refer to the frame of reference of the satellite (or possibly the antenna for the particular beam on the satellite), but I'm not sure how. Since different satellites will be oriented differently, I can't understand how this will work. Maybe these terms have a standard meaning for satellite operators?

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  • $\begingroup$ We could give you a reasonable guess, but there is no universally-accepted standard definition. You would do best to check with the provider of your data. $\endgroup$ – Chris Jan 17 '18 at 16:13
  • $\begingroup$ You can always define spherical components azimuth and elevation in spacecraft centred 'Local Horizon' reference frame and use perifocal reference frames to relate satellites in different orbits. These reference frames are defined in some older standard textbooks. This is the tedious way though. Its very likely that there's a simpler way to do the job you want. $\endgroup$ – Kuldeep Barad Jan 17 '18 at 16:50
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for these replies. I think you are right, I've sent a question up the food chain in my organisation, so I should get an answer as to how it is defined in the system we are using. $\endgroup$ – Spaceman Jan 17 '18 at 17:22

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