Does any open source software exist that can compute GPS ground coverage in real time? At work I used STK which would do the job perfectly, but I'm at school now so I only have the free version. For those who don't know STK can simulate the GPS constellation and determine how much coverage any particular Earth coordinates are getting. You can also place transmitters or jammers and see how that affects the coverage.

Unfortunately, the free version of STK doesn't come with coverage definitions or the ability to place new transmitters, which is what I need. Does anyone know of an open source software package that can simulate the GPS constellation, compute ground coverage, and allows placement of transmitters/jammers?

I read this question:

What are the choices today for orbital mechanics simulation software?

which had suggestions for orbital mechanics software. I was hoping that either the GMAT or ORSA software packages mentioned there might be able to do what I want, but it looks like they're more for space exploration stuff rather than GPS. If anyone has used these packages and knows if they can load the GPS constellation I'd love to hear about it.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Would an online tool be good enough? Here's Trimble GNSS Planning Online, it seems to have all the bells and whistles (minus the jammers, has azimuth / elevation obstructions settings tho) and includes GPS, Glonass, Galileo, BeiDou and QZSS satellites in a selectable library. Another is a freeware Windows app GNSS Satellite Availability Viewer that also seems should have you covered (no pun intended LOL). $\endgroup$
    – TildalWave
    Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 22:37
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You could try contacting AGI and explaining that you're a student working on a project. They might accommodate you. $\endgroup$
    – Nickolai
    Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 15:01
  • $\begingroup$ Trimble Planning for windows will also do what you need. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 22:39
  • $\begingroup$ @TildalWave those suggestions are very useful and almost do what I need, but they do not allow for the placement of additional satellites/transmitters other than predefined GNSS libraries. $\endgroup$
    – user3069
    Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 5:33
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ FreeFlyer isn't open source, but they offer 6 month student licenses at no cost. Shoot an email to [email protected] and they'll set you up. FreeFlyer can definitely handle your use case. $\endgroup$
    – user5855
    Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 19:22

1 Answer 1


Orekit is an open-source flight-dynamics library written in Java, and has a Python wrapper. It is able to simulate orbits of GNSS satellites, for instance by loading them from YUMA or SEM almanacs, and RINEX files are also supported. It is possible to load Antex files for GNSS transmit antennas models, which contain properties such as frequencies, phase center variation or SINEX code.

It allows to compute the geometrical coverage of GPS satellites, but I don't think it can compute interference, you will have to write the interference model yourself or using another tool. What Orekit can do is at least adding a ground-based jammer (via the GeodeticPoint or the GroundStation class) or a space-based jammer (by defining a KeplerianOrbit for instance).


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.