Submitted: July 2022


The steadily increasing amount of satellites around the Earth and the rise of small-satellite constellations create a need for good visualization tools. Most of the existing ones were developed for desktop systems and thus display their information using conventional monitors. The relatively new Augmented Reality technology offers a more realistic presentation of information that traditional display technologies do not provide.

To explore those advantages in a satellite context, we developed an AR application for the visualization of satellite data. The device we use for this purpose is the HoloLens 2 from Microsoft, one of the most advanced Augmented Reality solutions on the market. It is a glasses-like headset that uses two transparent monitors to project virtual objects into the user’s field of view. Using the Unity engine, we created an AR application that visualizes satellite data around a virtual or a physical globe. The needed data is provided to the headset by a backend server application that also handles the propagation of the satellite orbits using the Orekit library.

Our prototype presents a proof-of-concept way to visualize satellite data in Augmented Reality using the HoloLens headset. It offers a variety of options to customize the visualization and performs well for medium-sized satellite constellations (~80 satellites).