ISKGeodetic

A helper class for SasktranIF users. The class contains an oblate spheroid model of Earth and provides methods to convert geocentric X, Y, Z vectors to geodetic latitude, longitude and altitude coordinates. The class also provides methods for defining lines of sight for the SasktranIF models. The coordinate conversion methods use a 2 step process. The first step sets a location using various techniques; the location is internally stored in the class instance. The second step calls various get methods to convert the internal location to the desired output coordinates.

Overview

This is the overview section

Geocentric Coordinates

The oblate spheroid uses two primary coordinate systems. This first is the geocentric X, Y, Z system. This coordinate system is a 3-D Cartesian system with the origin located at the center of the Earth. All dimensions are specified in meters. The X axis is in the equatorial plane and points to the Greenwich meridian at 0° longitude. The Y axis is in the equatorial plane and points to the meridian at 90° E. The Z axis is parallel to the northward pointing spin axis of the Earth.

Geodetic Coordinates

The second coordinate system is the geodetic latitude, longitude and altitude system. Users should note that geodetic coordinates are not the same as geocentric latitude, longitude and altitude. Geodetic coordinates refer to the local vertical at any position on the oblate spheroid and this unit vector due to the oblateness of the Earth is inclined to the geocentric radius. Geodetic coordinates are the coordinate system used on most maps and GPS systems and are generally the coordinates normally referred to when people say latitude, longitude and altitude.

Geoid Model

Different models for the oblate Earth exist and the ISKGeodetic class by default uses the IAU 1976 model for the Earth. Other standard models are available through method SetProperty. Oblate spheroid models attempt to model the geopotential surface of the Earth and are generally accurate to about 100 meters. Users requiring higher precision models of the Earth’s geopotential must use other techniques.

Example

A simple example:

import sasktranif.sasktranif as skif

geoid    = skif.ISKGeodetic();
ok       = geoid.SetLocationLatLonAlt( 52.1315, -106.6335, 530.0)
location = geoid.GetLocationXYZ();
lat      = geoid.GetLatitude();
lng      = geoid.GetLongitude();
H        = geoid.GetAlt();
class ISKGeodetic
Creates an instance of ISKGeodetic
SetLocationLatLonAlt(lat, lon, alt) → ok

Sets the internal location to the point specified by the geodetic latitude, longitude and altitude. The 3 coordinates can be used to cover the entire 3-D space from the center of the Earth to infinity:

ok = geoid.SetLocationLatLonAlt( lat, lon, alt )
Parameters:
  • lat (double) – The geodetic latitude in degrees (-90 to + 90).
  • lon (double) – The geodetic longitude in degrees (-180 to 360)
  • alt (double) – The altitude above mean sea-level in meters.
  • ok (bool) – Returns true if successful
Returns:

returns true if successful

SetLocationXYZ(geocentric) → ok

Sets the internal location to the point specified by the geocentric vector:

ok = geoid.SetLocationXYZ( geocentric )
Parameters:
  • geocentric (nxVector) – The geocentric coordinates of the location specified in meters from the centre of the Earth. nxVector is represented as a 3 element array (X,Y,Z)
  • ok (bool) – Returns true if successful
Returns:

returns true if successful

SetLocationFromTangentPoint(observer, look) → ok

Sets the internal location from the tangent point implied by the straight-line from the given observer in the direction of look away from the observer. The tangent point is the location where a straight line passing through the observer’s location is parallel to the surface of the oblate Earth. The algorithm is robust for any observer looking in any direction as there are always two points on the surface of the Earth parallel to the ray. The tangent point is chosen to be the point closest to the ray. Note that the tangent point calculated by the algorithm may be behind the observer:

ok = geoid.SetLocationFromTangentPoint( observer, look)
Parameters:
  • observer (nxVector) – The geocentric location of the observer in meters. nxVector is expressed as a 3 element array (X, Y, Z).
  • lookvector (nxVector) – The look vector away from the observer in geocentric coordinates. This should be a unit vector. nxVector is expressed as a 3 element array (X, Y, Z).
  • ok (bool) – Returns true if successful
Returns:

returns true if successful

SetLocationFromTangentAltitude(required_altitude, observer, boresight_direction) → ok,look

A method useful for emulating satellite limb-scanning measurements. The code sets the location from the tangent point derived from the observer looking at a limb tangent at the required_altitude. The code returns the required look vector.

At any given observer location there is a circle of solutions (or horizon) that are tangent at the required altitude. The tangent point is selected by choosing the point that intersects the plane formed by the boresight_direction and the observer position. In other words the code looks for a tangent point in the bore-sight direction but allows the look vector to rotate vertically up or down to meet the required altitude.

The look vector is constrained to lie in a plane defined by the local vertical and the boresight_direction. The tangent point is the location where a straight line that passes through the observer’s location is parallel to the surface of the Earth. The algorithm is robust for any observer looking in any direction as there are always two points on the surface of the Earth parallel to the ray. The tangent point is chosen to be the point closest to the ray. Note that the tangent point calculated by the algorithm may be behind the observer:

ok, required_look = geoid.SetLocationFromTangentAltitude( required_altitude, observer, boresight_direction)
Parameters:
  • required_altitude (double) – The altitude of the required tangent point in meters above sea level. The observer and the returned look vector will be looking at this altitude.
  • observer (nxVector) – The geocentric location of the observer in meters. The observer should be located above the required altitude. nxVector is represented as a 3 element array.
  • boresight_direction (nxVector) – The boresight direction of the instrument. The look vector towards the tangent point will lie in the plane defined by the local vertical and this bore-sight direction. This vector should not be in the lcoal vertical direction.
  • required_look (nxVector) – Returns the look unitvector from the observer towards the tangent point at the desired altitude. This is a unitvector.
  • ok (bool) – Returns true if successful
Returns:

returns two element list (ok, look)