STK 9, released in May 2009, includes usability enhancements, access to more standard data sources,
new functionality and the expansion of development tools.
- Improvements to various UI windows were made to reduce the number of clicks required to accomplish a
task. Users were given a centralized interface (the Insert Object Tool) to populate scenarios with any
and all STK objects. This interface can be customized to map to the most popular objects and insert
methods. Users can also manage all data outputs for any and all entities and calculations from the
centralized Report & Graph Manager. With this consolidation, users can get to their results more
easily and have greater flexibility in pulling data, running comparative analysis and more.
- Interactive right-click menus have been added to Reports, Graphs and 2D/3D windows. From the Report
and Graph context menus, users can jump to key sections of the results, set the animation to any event
time, change the display units and more. Through the visualization window’s right-click context menu
on any entity, users can quickly access the object properties or a new option to “Zoom To” that object.
- Through AGI's partnership with Microsoft, STK/TIM users can stream global high-resolution
Microsoft Bing Maps® raster imagery onto their STK, AGI Viewer and STK Engine 3D globes. Select from
different data sets (e.g. aerial imagery, roads, etc.) to provide enhanced situational awareness.
- STK/Astrogator introduced a new Scripting Tool to allow the addition of complex in-process automation
and logic control to a mission control sequence. Using any STK attribute or calculation, custom scripts
can be written to quickly implement initial guess utilities, unique mission requirements and even
- Through enhancements to STK/Aircraft Mission Modeler, users can define aircraft routes that depend
on other scenario entities. Aircraft can fly in formation, fly over a moving ground target, etc. to
better simulate realistic mission behavior.
- The STK/Communications and STK/Radar modules have a new link to the Component Browser where users
can define, customize and store different payload specifications, RF propagation and environmental
models affecting communications links. By accessing these custom models from a database available
from any scenario, users can preserve the integrity of the different models applied across their
- STK 9 introduced a new plugin point for the User Interface. Users can create custom workflows for
the STK workspace such as new toolbars, GUI panels and context menu options that integrate third-party
or in-house capabilities right inside of STK.
- For any STK edition, including free STK, users can begin developing custom STK Engine applications.
STK 8, released fall 2006, focuses primarily on enhanced analysis collaboration and
geospatial layer management, and also introduces the full integration of its 3-D
visualization capabilities across a simplified product alignment structure. New features
include the ability to easily manage globes and geospatial layers (including ArcGIS
data); terrain and imagery processing improvements; enhanced analysis sharing capabilities,
- The new STK product realignment structure features STK Basic, STK Professional, and
STK Expert Editions, along with a set of consolidated add-on modules that specifically
tailor to program requirements and analysis proficiency.
- The 3-D visualization engine has been integrated into all paid products for enhanced
- The new Globe Manager allows users to easily manage a scenario’s geospatial content—from
terrain and imagery, to custom globe files, to integrated ArcGIS data—with immediate visual
feedback on the globe.
- STK GIS Analyst Extension for STK 8 and the new AGI Viewer Pro allows users to load in
Esri map document (.mxd) files for analysis and visualization. This data can then be managed
directly from the Globe Manager window.
- Native support for JPEG 2000 imagery now allows users to read in JPEG 2000 files for the
3D globe and 2D map overlays.
- PDTT terrain files can now be used for analysis and visualization, eliminating the need
for two terrain files in a scenario.
- Aviator now supports vertical take off and landing (VTOL); short
takeoff and landing (STOL); and hover flight profiles.
- The STK Object Model has been expanded, greatly simplifying efforts to control STK and
output STK results to other applications, without resorting to complex, socket-layer code.
- The HPOP and STK/Astrogator spacecraft propagators now share the same default integrator
and force model settings, which facilitate comparisons of results when switching between these
STK propagators and ensures numerical consistency.
- Orbit frames can now be drawn in customized reference frames created with the Vector
Geometry Tool (VGT). This includes pulsating BBR frames for trajectories in multi-body missions.
STK 7 debuted in fall 2005. This release included new features—Aircraft Mission Modeler
backwards targeting, custom missile creation tool, industry-standard COM interface—and
across-the-board enhancements for users working in battlespace management, geospatial
intelligence, space systems, and national defense.
- Updated missile object capability with HPOP propagator, additional attitude profiels, and missile-related
reports and graphs.
- A rapid mission modeling tool that allows users to model specific mission requirements quickly and easily
using aircraft specific performance models to produce realistic flight paths based upon empirical, airframe-specific
- As an update to the STK/Astrogator module, AGI has added a hold sequence and backwards targeting, allowing
users to set up all or part of their Mission Control Sequence to run backward in time.
- STK/Optimizer product that adds three new optimization routines and two design space tools to STK/Analyzer.
- In addition to the existing STK/Connect interface, customers now have access to all STK data providers and
STK/PRO objects through the Component Object Model (COM).
- As part of STK/Advanced VO, users can now host all terrain and imagery on an internal Globeserver.
- As another update to STK/Astrogator, STK 7 makes it possible for STK/Astrogator and STK/PRO to share common
vector functionality, through the use of the improved Vector Geometry Tool (VGT).
- Added functionality to the Lifetime tool enables users to analyze the effects of different atmospheric models,
different flux levels, and time-based stopping conditions.
- As an update to STK/Comm, users can now perform PSD analysis taking into consideration the signal modulation
- All STK graphs now use Chart FX® in place of the old graph interface.
- With new data provider descriptions, users can now understand how the data providers generate the results
reported from a mathematical standpoint.
- STK 7 features an improved terrain rendering process, resulting in faster performance when performing computations
in and around a specific area.
- An updated user interface called LaunchPad replaces the Welcome and Start pages as an improved organization tool;
great for keeping track of scenarios, utilities, models, and other pertinent STK data in one easy-to-use environment.
STK 6.0 was launched in 2004. This software version gave users new and improved tools ideal for
specialized analyses, terrain, and imagery handling; 3-D interactivity; and shareability.
- Introduction of the new visual output tool STK/Author and interactive AGI Viewer freeware,
which bring the STK experience to individuals at any and all levels
- AGI Globeserver, a free Internet service which streams pre-built globe data into STK scenarios
- Greater flexibility in designing multi-spacecraft missions
- Automation of additional maneuver design tasks
- 3-D graphical feedback and trending
- New tools for the design of complex space missions
- Terrain translucency for visual representation of access and sensor obscurations
- 3-D texture files used as imagery overlays on the 2-D map
- 3-D coverage contours displayed over terrain data
- Sensor footprint fill option
- Facility, target, and sensor attitude spheres
- 2-D surface lines between objects
- Graphics primitives for custom user symbology
The 2003 release of STK 5.0 brought an entirely new look and feel to STK via an updated graphical
user interface (GUI). It's open architecture offered unparalleled flexibility to create custom
interfaces and easily integrate STK with other software applications.
- Component-based architecture within the STK GUI for easy customization, communication, & integration
- New GUI based on familiar Windows standards
- Upgraded STK/Communications (STK/Comm) module featuring
- laser communication links
- custom comm objects and propagation modules
- enhanced constraints for transmitters, receivers, and interference sources
- calculation of multi-beam antenna patters; and ability to model propagation delays
- 3-D interactivity and visual cues
- Additional imagery formats and adaptive local tessellation to ensure ground objects appear flush with the central body
- Computation and realistic display of sensor/terrain intersections in the 2-D and 3-D windows
- 3-D coverage contours over geographical regions and on a vehicle’s attitude sphere
In 2002, STK 4.3 introduced the Vector Geometry Tool in STK/Professional (STK/PRO). Its dynamic geometry engine enabled the
incorporation of time-based position, velocity, orientation, and inter-visibility conditions for objects—with respect to
any coordinate system.
- The Vector Geometry Tool in STK/Professional (STK/PRO)—a dynamic geometry engine that enables users to incorporate time-based position, velocity, orientation, and inter-visibility conditions for objects with respect to any coordinate system
- More integration methods for HPOP including Gauss-Jackson & Bulirisch-Stoer with Variation of Parameters (VOP)
- "Plugin" capability featuring user-defined scripts for constraints, vectors, axes, drag, and engine and force models
- SPICE files for planets and central bodies
- STK/Attitude module introduced
- vehicle-centered 3-D display and analysis sphere
- attitude simulation tool
- multiple-segment and user-defined attitude profiles
- STK/Scheduler module which finds optimal scheduling solutions via global search algorithms and "quick" priority-driving scheduling
- Orbit determination with real-time and autonomous data-editing modes, tracking data simulator, and realistic error covariance