The CEOS Visualization Environment (COVE) tool is a browser-based system that leverages Google-Earth to display satellite sensor coverage areas and for the identification of coincidence scene locations. The NASA CEOS System Engineering Office (SEO) worked with the Committee on Earth Observing Satellites (CEOS) Working Group on Calibration and Validation to develop the COVE tool.
CEOS is currently operating and planning hundreds of Earth observation satellites. Standard Calibration and Validation (Cal/Val) exercises to compare near-simultaneous surface observations and to identify corresponding image pairs are time-consuming and labor-intensive. COVE is comprised of a suite of tools developed to make such tasks easier.
The visual satellite ground tracks and coincidence data within COVE are determined using an SGP4 propagator with TLE data as the input. TLE data is gathered every hour from celestrak.com or n2yo.com if it is available. Pop-up windows over ground tracks or data from coincidence calculations will indicate "(from TLE)" when the SGP4 propagator is used. Otherwise the ground track and coincidence data represent the ideal orbit behavior with J2 perturbations only. Higher order gravity terms, drag, 3rd body perturbations, and satellite maneuvers are not included in the J2 propagation. This tool is not intended for use in performing mission critical analyses which require precise orbit information.