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What happened with the ISS Reentry?

By: Michelle Skarr

While conducting an onsite training session, I inserted the ISS using the standard object database method and quickly realized that something went wrong.  The ISS looked as if it not only reentered, but it was 5 km into the ocean.  Clearly this was not true.  So what happened?

The training was being conducted in a classified area on classified machines that were not connected to a network. Therefore, the local databases had never been updated. The current date of the databases on the training computers dated back to February 14, 2014. When STK propagated the old TLE to the scenario time (the current date), it appeared that the ISS was no longer in orbit.

AGI does not want you to have to live in the past…you have options.

In a classified environment, AGI provides extensive high-side support materials at the Intellink site STK Users Forum, otherwise referred to as STUF. You can utilize this link to pull down updated databases and transfer them to the computers running STK.

In an Unclassified environment with an internet connection, the Data Update Utility enables you to update astro data sets, including EOP-v1.1.txt, EOP-All-v1.1.txt, EOP.dat, EOP.dat.all, SpaceWeather-v1.2.txt, SpaceWeather-All-v1.2.txt, LeapSecond.dat, stkFluxGeoMag.5yr.fxm, stkFluxGeoMag.fxm, Satellite Databases, GPSAlmanac.al3, SEMFileListing.txt and GPSData.txt.

This utility can be found  on the STK Utilities menu. When you select the Data Update… option, a GUI will pop up with all the available databases to update. This utility could be used on demand or configured to automatically update at a set frequency

If you are operating STK in an unclassified environment without an internet connection, you can download the from using a computer that has an internet connection.

Copy the .zip file to removable media or a network resource that the unconnected computer can access and extract the contents of the .zip file into your STK program data directory.

It’s that simple! So no more excuses.  Keep your databases up to date!

More information on updating your databases can be found at Data Update Utility.

Posted: 5/21/2018 7:00:00 AM