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.

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    $\begingroup$ 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
    Apr 7 '14 at 22:37
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    $\begingroup$ You could try contacting AGI and explaining that you're a student working on a project. They might accommodate you. $\endgroup$
    – Nickolai
    Apr 8 '14 at 15:01
  • $\begingroup$ Trimble Planning for windows will also do what you need. $\endgroup$ Apr 8 '14 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
    Apr 15 '14 at 5:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Nickolai I'm afraid STK is a very expensive software, about $200k per license, so I doubt they would be accommodating. I don't need most of the functionality that STK offers, so I hoped there might be an online tool available, but an open source option just might not exist. $\endgroup$
    – user3069
    Apr 15 '14 at 5:34

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).


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