Frequently Asked Questions

How do I use COVE to visualize satellite data?

First, select the mission and instrument from the cart on the left. Next, select the time period of interest. Finally, click "Add Ground Swaths". The mission/instrument will automatically be selected inside the cart with a check next to the name. The satellite ground track should be displayed on the globe using the color indicated next to the name in the cart. The user can select/deselect any mission/instrument in the cart as well as change the color of the ground track.


How do I generate coincidence data with COVE?

To generate coincidence data between two satellites, select two satellites from the "Missions and Instruments" list, and click "Add Coincidence". The coincidence data will be created and added to the globes.


What if I am interested in acquisitions over a particular region?

The Rapid Acquisition Tool can provide information on acquisitions over a particular region, and is also better suited for longer time frames, where ground tracks become too dense to visualize.


How can I get additional information about a mission/instrument?

Click on the Missions link under the header. Select the mission and instrument you are interested in from the list on the left.


What instrument data does COVE use in its determination of acquisitions?

COVE does not have instrument data with regards to specific operational conditions (i.e. actual real-time pointing), but does utilize general characteristics with regard to swath. Future versions of COVE will also include full field-of-regard that the instrument's pointing enables.


How accurate is COVE in determining acquisition/coincidence times?

COVE is still under validation, but to date it is accurate to within a minute for time periods out to 5 months from the current date. This is because COVE utilizes an SGP4 propagator that receives satellite position and velocity data (TLE) on an hourly basis. If this data is not available for the SGP4 propagator, COVE uses a simple propagator (J2) to determine the future position of the satellite. This latter option is supported for repeating sun-synchronous orbits. COVE propagations using the SGP4 propagator are limited to 5 months from the date of the nearest TLE. Also note that COVE uses 1 minute integration time steps and has variations due to this alone.


How do I notify the developers if there is a problem with a mission/satellite that needs correction or the website in general?

Send a message via the Contact Us page with the issue and the COVE team will attempt to rectify the situation in a timely manner.


How do I request the addition of a mission/instrument combination to the COVE database?

Send a message via the Contact Us page with your request. The information required is the mission and instrument that you desire. If the mission/instrument has not flown (notional), then provide the altitude, the nature of the orbit (i.e. repeating sun-synchronous), number of revolutions to repeat or the days to repeat. Notional mission/instruments are limited only to repeating sun-synchronous orbits. If further information is needed, the COVE team will contact you.


Can missions that are no longer operational or are not yet operational be added to COVE?

Yes. However, the orbital information is limited by the time period the TLE data is available for past missions, while notional missions are only possible if the orbit is repeating sun-synchronous.