Geostationary Satellite Animations

Please help ensure the future of the Dundee Satellite Receiving Station

As of March 31st 2019 the funding of the station has been removed. There is currently a crowdfunding effort to secure funding to continue operation.

The Geostationary Satellite Animation Viewer is a flexible tool for creating animations from geostationary satellite images that I developed for Dundee Satellite Receiving Station. Dundee has an extensive archive of satellite images dating all the way back to 1978 when they were stored photographically. Geostationary images from 2001 onwards are available online.

Example geostationary animation of 25/12/2016 at 0 degrees longitude.
Example geostationary animation of 25/12/2016 at 0 degrees longitude.

Key Features

The application has the following important features:

  • Selectable animation time period allowing animation of a single day to months.
  • Animations can be manually controlled to allow going backwards and forwards as desired to study features.
  • Multi-channel animations allow manual switching between spectral bands during animation.
  • Geographical coordinate readout for the tracking of features such as storms.

How to Create a Timelapse

The parameters for specifiying a timelapse are:

  • Longitude/Satellite
  • Time period (last 24 hours, a single day, a month or a custom range of dates)
  • The channel (spectral band)
  • The image size
  • Coastal grid

After selecting the desired parameters clicking the ‘Create Timelapse’ button will retrieve the images and load them ready for animation.

The application's user interface.

Viewing the Timelapse

After the images have been loaded a control panel will appear at the bottom of the screen. The image set may be navigated via the slider or animated automatically with the ‘play’ button. The speed of automatic animations may be controlled via the options menu. There is also an option for repeated looping of the animation.

Coordinate Readout

When hovering the mouse over the images a geographical coordinate readout is displayed. This allows features of interest to be tracked as they traverse the Earth.

Downloading the Images

A downloader tool is provided in the options menu to allow the images to be downloaded with ease. They may be downloaded separately, in a range or in entirety.

The downloader tool.

Multi-channel Animations

The images for several channels may be loaded at once to allow the switching of spectral bands during animation. To do so select ‘enable’ in the ‘Additional Channels’ section of the options menu and then use the multi-select widget to choose the desired channels.

Here is an example multi-channel animation of 25/12/2016 at 0 degrees longitude, channels 1, 7 and 11.

Keyboard Shortcuts

The application has a number of keyboard shortcuts to make using it easier:

  • play/pause animation - p
  • open/close options menu - o
  • open/close downloader - d
  • forward cycle channel - c
  • backward cycle channel - ctrl + c

Supported Sensors

Below are lists of the currently operational and previous sensors available. Please note a Dundee Satellite Receiving Station account is required to use the pages.

Currently Operational

These links present animations of the last 24 hours:


These links are to the archive pages of sensors which are no longer active:

All satellite images are copyright of NERC Satellite Receiving Station, Dundee University Scotland.