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AGI’s free, cutting-edge technology used to spread holiday cheer!

By: Jeff Baxter

AGI has been providing free, cutting-edge technology for nearly 25 years. Recent developments in web technology, along with AGI’s renewed focus on free software, have brought game-changing capabilities to the space, defense and intelligence communities.

These same capabilities were used this year to help spread holiday cheer through AGI's participation in the NORAD Tracks Santa program, and our development of a new character, Starkey the Space Elf. NORAD Tracks Santa will feature AGI’s free, open source Cesium software to track Santa's progress as he delivers presents across the globe—in 3D from within your web browser! New this year is the ability to interact with Santa’s 3D model, so make sure to tune in on Dec. 24 at Also new this year is Starkey the Space Elf, who travels through space helping Santa make sure children are on their best behavior. Taking advantage of the new features of STK 10 Free (3D, search, Bing imagery, open API), Starkey is a fun, interactive way to get in the holiday spirit while learning about space. Here’s how AGI’s free software was used to create Starkey in your web browser: 1)      AGI’s free desktop application, STK, was used to create the content. 2)      The content was published to the STK Data Federate. 3)      The content was loaded into STK Cesium for 3D visualization in a web browser. In addition to publishing Starkey in your web browser, it is also a standalone desktop application. Here are a few of the major STK free features used in the Starkey application: 3D In case you haven’t heard, 3D is now free in STK 10!  This includes all the other benefits of STK 3D:  streaming Bing imagery, KML, 3D models, directional vectors, data displays, custom views, camera paths, HD snapshots and HD videos, to list a few of my favorites.  Check out our previous blogs on STK’s powerful 3D capabilities, and what sets STK’s globe apart from other virtual globes. Search As STK moves from a “create your data” mentality to a “select your data” mentality, the search toolbar is getting better and better. This search toolbar searches our licensed geocoder and our cloud-based data server for matches for addresses. Simply select the match from the list of items and they automatically get loaded into STK for analysis and visualization. This includes satellites, facilities and aircraft, along with their associated sensors and RF payloads. So search for your favorite satellite and let the fun begin! Open API I purposely named this the Starkey application and not scenario because I used the API to create a custom workflow, which makes it an application. This is a very important point that deserves more emphasis—you can create custom applications with STK Free! Whether it’s a UAV mission planner, a satellite overflight tool or a Space Elf application, it can all be done with STK Free. These are just a subset of free capabilities that are included in STK. Check out the detailed list of STK free capabilities for Satellites and Aircraft. Again, all of these capabilities are completely free, so download STK today and see what cool applications you can create! Happy holidays!
Posted: 12/20/2013 7:13:15 PM