SGP4 TEME to Earth-fixed ITRS converter in Python

From: Egemen İmre via Seesat-l <>
Date: Sun, 26 Apr 2020 16:31:46 +0200
Dear all,

Most people here use TLE and SGP4 combination for orbit analysis, and the
output is in the ill-defined quasi-inertial TEME frame. I guess many users
here would like to convert this into the Earth Fixed frame ITRF to be able
to use them properly in Azimuth-Elevation based local frame setups.

I wrote a Python script that defines TEME and the intermediate TIRS frames
in the Astropy library and converts the TEME propagation results into the
Earth Fixed ITRF and inertial GCRF (very close to J2000) frames.  I
explained the details in the Jupyter notebook here:

I tried to explain everything in a way that it can be hopefully easily
applied to your programming language of preference, as long as you use the
SOFA or ERFA routines under the hood for precise coordinate
transformations. The SGP4 is the one from Brandon Rhodes, which in turn
uses one of the standard implementations from Vallado's "Revisiting
Spacetrack Report #3" paper.

Any comments or questions welcome.

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Received on Sun Apr 26 2020 - 09:33:27 UTC

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