Predict when satellites will deorbit with STK

Want to calculate when ANY satellite might deorbit? We have a Lifetime tool for that. Please note: STK's Lifetime tool is not intended to determine an exact time of decay, a specific geographical "impact point" or to what degree a satellite might survive its descent through the atmosphere. The Lifetime tool estimates the amount of time a satellite can be expected to remain in orbit before atmospheric drag and other perturbations cause it to decay. A satellite is assumed to have decayed when its height of perigee drops below 64 km when atmospheric drag becomes too strong. The Lifetime tool estimates the orbital lifetime of a satellite and provides the corresponding date of decay. It should be emphasized that although the Lifetime computations are based on sophisticated orbital theory and accurate environment models, the result is still an estimate. Due to the seemingly random 10% variation in atmospheric density and because of the difficulty in accurately predicting solar activity, satellite lifetimes cannot be determined with accuracy better than +10% of the actual lifetime. Furthermore, assumptions and simplifications made in order to produce a practical computer implementation of the lifetime theory introduce an additional degree of uncertainty in the final result. To do this analysis: -Download STK here - -Open STK and create a new 'scenario' -Insert your satellite of interest from our Satellite Database -Highlight your satellite in the object browser and select 'Lifetime' from the Satellite menu. For more info on the parameters to enter into the tool, please refer to the help documentation here: STK is a free tool and the Lifetime tool is part of STK Professional. You can get a 30-day evaluation here if you aren't already a Professional user. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact our engineering support (

Systems Tool Kit (STK)

Modeling and simulation software for digital mission engineering and systems analysis.


The foundation for analyzing and visualizing complex systems in the context of their missions.