Geostationary Satellite View

Classification Azimuthal
Available forms Forward and inverse, spherical and elliptical projection
Defined area Global
Implemented by Gerald I. Evenden and Martin Raspaud$
+h Satellite height above earth. Required.
+sweep Sweep angle axis of the viewing instrument. Valid options are x and y. Defaults to y.
+lon_0 Subsatellite longitude point.
Geostationary Satellite View

The geos projection pictures how a geostationary satellite scans the earth at regular scanning angle intervals.


In order to project using the geos projection you can do the following:

proj +proj=geos +h=35785831.0

The required argument h is the viewing point (satellite position) height above the earth.

The projection coordinate relate to the scanning angle by the following simple relation:

scanning_angle (radians) = projection_coordinate / h

Note on sweep angle

The viewing instrument on-board geostationary satellites described by this projection have a two-axis gimbal viewing geometry. This means that the different scanning positions are obtained by rotating the gimbal along a N/S axis (or y) and a E/W axis (or x).

Gimbal geometry

In the image above, the outer-gimbal axis, or sweep-angle axis, is the N/S axis (y) while the inner-gimbal axis, or fixed-angle axis, is the E/W axis (x).

This example represents the scanning geometry of the Meteosat series satellite. However, the GOES satellite series use the opposite scanning geometry, with the E/W axis (x) as the sweep-angle axis, and the N/S (y) as the fixed-angle axis.

The sweep argument is used to tell proj.4 which on which axis the outer-gimbal is rotating. The possible values are x or y, y being the default. Thus, the scanning geometry of the Meteosat series satellite should take sweep as x, and GOES should take sweep as y.