SLR Graz is tracking >150 active or defunct International Laser Ranging Service satellites and >300 uncooperative targets routinely using laser ranging or light curve techniques. It is essential to acquire comprehensive real-time information to judge measurement tasking, satellite scheduling, aircraft avoidance, sun position, cloud coverage or local hardware status.

The new software SkyVision has been developed by the SLR team and is still being upgraded according to ever-changing requirements, e.g. the integration of new tracking cameras, improved satellite scheduling or real-time observation feedback. SkyVision plots a real time schedule of satellite passes which are sorted and color coded dynamically according to time, priority and previously acquired data (see figure). Further details provided to the observers include: orbit information, laser point ahead angle, CPF version, time bias estimation, satellite or space debris visibility and visibility changing time, etc. In addition, during debris tracking the radar cross section values and past tracking records are displayed to give success rate feedback.

SkyVision communicates with an air traffic tracking device which acquires ADS-B, MLAT, FLARM signals to calculate the aircrafts' information near the station. The laser is switched off automatically when any aircraft flies within a predefined cone near the laser beam. The software also gets an actual sky picture from a home-integrated all sky camera to get the current cloud coverage, highlighting areas on the sky which would prohibit laser ranging, and also creates a keogram image to store the weather development of the last 24 hours. Both pictures together with satellite schedule are shared to the observers via Internet to allow them to plan the nightly observation sessions efficiently.


The radar plot of SkyVision illustrates in real-time satellite and debris passes, tracking and aircraft information combined with an all-sky image as background for easier orientation for the observer. Satellites are highlighted in green, aircraft in blue.