SaVi satellite constellation visualization

at Surrey | now at SourceForge




Globalstar modelled by Geomview with SaVi




SaVi and Geomview model Globalstar
I've created and run simulations of satellite constellations using SaVi, the Satellite Visualization software that was originally written at the Geometry Center. I began contributing to SaVi while studying at the Centre for Communication Systems Research. Now you can run SaVi, too, on Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, SGI Irix, on Mac OS X, on Microsoft Windows, and even on a Raspberry Pi.

My SaVi releases include the constellation simulation scripts I've written, as well as enhanced resizeable coverage and fisheye displays.

SaVi is introduced in a SourceForge interview and a short paper. SaVi's features are described in the SaVi user manual. Satellite constellations are introduced in a tutorial using SaVi.

For real-time 3D animations, SaVi can use Geomview, also originally written at The Geometry Center. These videos, interactive java animations and renderings of constellations will quickly give you a quick idea of what Geomview can offer.

Recent SaVi development code with bugfixes may be available.

The SaVi 1.5.1 release (2 July 2017) is now available.

You can install SaVi as a binary package on Ubuntu without compiling, using the Debian/Ubuntu SaVi package and the Geomview package from the package manager. Here are Ubuntu instructions for SaVi and for Geomview. SaVi requires Tcl/Tk. If you are compiling SaVi, your installation of Tcl/Tk may require you to install the tk-devel package (Red Hat, Fedora, CentOS, etc.) or tcl-dev and tk-dev (Debian, Ubuntu, etc.). to get the header files to compile against.

SaVi is supported via the SaVi users mailing list. There's also a SaVi developers mailing list. SaVi development is stored in the SaVi SourceForge repository.

A service rendering SaVi images on request is available. Any use of SaVi images should credit SaVi ( There are many examples of use of SaVi where credit is given. The satellite plot scripts were used in a number of these examples.

Friends of the Geometry CenterSaVi
Lloyd Wood (
this page last updated for latest code