Assessing line of sight to satellite

Discussion created by mstead on Jul 18, 2012
Latest reply on Jul 20, 2012 by mstead
I used hillshade to do this and didn't know whether Spatial or 3D Analyst groups made more sense, so I am asking here instead.....

I was asked to assess areas for installing a transmitter for a satellite telemetry system in a valley extreme slopes. I was given the azimuth and elevation above the horizon for the satellite and told the transmitter will be installed 8 metres above the ground on a tower.  To me this didn't seem like it would work with the line of sight tools, as the "Observer" would have to be the satellite....and even then I am not overly confident it would work correctly. I decided to try it using hillshade instead. I clipped my potential areas out of my DEM and added 8 metres to it, then mosaiced it back into a different clip (of the rest of the DEM with a few cells of overlap) using the mean option to try and smooth the transition between the raised area and the unmodified DEM. Then I ran a hillshade on this with the shadows option checked. My assumption is that the "0" shadow areas would not have line of sight to the satellite, and that the rest should be OK. Because hillshade only tells defines it's non-shadow analysis to "local" areas I am uncertain about any meaning to the values other than "0". Is "local" derived from the extent of the inputs? Seems like pretty vague documentation.

Anyways...... Anybody have any advice on how better to do this?