I don't have much experience with amateur satellites and I went to the AMSAT website to track a few passes. Two of the terms are "Maximum Elevation" and "Max El Azimuth"

I go to look up the terms, and I find this link http://forums.qrz.com/showthread.php?139260-Satellite-Tracking-Terms

For Max El Azimuth, they say

Max El Azimuth - this is the maximum height the satellite should reach on this pass, as viewed from your location - a height of 90 degrees would be straight overhead.

But I see values higher than 90 on the AMSAT pass tracker online and am confused. And the Maximum elevation says values less than 90 degrees.

Just to be sure, what exactly is the difference between Maximum Elevation and Maximum El Azimuth?


1 Answer 1


That forum is bogus.

Date - Pretty obvious. The day the pass happens.

AOS - Acquisition of signal. This is the time of day at which the satellite first rises above the horizon.

Duration - This is simply the time between AOS and LOS, ie, for how long the satellite is visible.

AOS Azimuth - The direction at which the satellite first becomes visible, in degrees to the right of North. 0 or 360 is North, 90 is East, 180 is South, and 270 is West.

Maximum Elevation - How high the satellite will appear to go in the sky, in degrees above horizon. 0 is the horizon. 90 is directly overhead.

Max El Azimuth - "Maximum Elevation Azimuth". This is the direction at which maximum elevation occurs.

LOS Azimuth - The direction at which the satellite ceases to be visible.

LOS - Loss of signal. The time of day at which the satellite goes below the horizon and the pass ends.

  • $\begingroup$ Of course, if you happen to be somewhere like on the wrong side of a slope, AOS and LOS times (and azimuths) can become completely different from those predicted using a "flat" horizon model. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Jan 29, 2014 at 15:04

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .