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Russian Geostationary


By Andy Thomas G0SFJ

I was browsing through the junk in the Udeil’nya flea market in St Petersburg, Russia, this August, when next to a marine sextant in a wooden box I came across the Russian equivalent of an “Oscar locator” for geostationary satellites in the Inmarsat class.

I though fellow AMSAT-ers would be interested into this low-tech approach. Interesting that it seems to suggest operating on a vessel, but one without any automatic location device, so presumably a small vessel.

I have dissassembled it into two scans. Fig 1 shows the base map of the world.
Fig 2 shows the transparent cover, rotating on a central nut-and-bolt.
Fig 3 shows the instructions.

For ease of reference I’ve retyped the instructions below and translated it with the help of Babel Fish.



С помощью планшета определяются координаты антенны (угол места и азимут) по отношению местонахождения спутника.

Планшет состоит из двух частей. На картонном основании изображена карта земного шара с нанесенными параллелями и меридианами, на линии екваторе черными кружками изображены положения спутников системы Инмарсат.

Местоположения спутников по регионам следующие;

Индианский океан 63 В.Д. Резервный 60 В.Д.

Атлантический океан 26 В.Д. Резервный 18.5 В.Д.

Тихий океан 175.8 В.Д.

На прозрачной шкале нанесены сектор определения азимута и сектор определения угла места.

На секторе азимута нанесены линии от 0 до 360, расходяшиеся от центра, который совпадает с екваториальной линией. А на логично сектор угла места имеет линии от 5 до 90.

Для определения координат антенны необходимо вращением совместить центр сектора азимута (угол места) с изображением точки спутника данного региона.

На линиях пересечения секторов азимута и  угол места с точкой, имеющей координаты судна, определить азимут и угол места антенны. “

In English:


With the aid of the plane-table are determined the coordinates of antenna (angle of elevation and azimuth) by the relation of the location of satellite.

Plane-table consists of two parts. The map of the terrestial globe with the substituted parallels and the meridians is depicted on the pasteboard base, on the line equator black circles depicted the positions of the satellites of system INMARSAT.

The positions of satellites on the regions are the following;

Indian ocean 63° [East].[D]. reserve 60° [East.[D].

 Atlantic Ocean 26° [West].[D]. reserve 18.5° [West].[D].

Pacific Ocean 175.8°[East].[D].

The sector of azimuth determination and the sector of elevation-position finding are substituted on the transparent scale.

In the sector of azimuth are substituted the lines from 0° to 360°, radiating* from the center, which coincides with the Equatorial line. But in logically the sector of angle of elevation has lines from 5° to 90°.

For determining the coordinates of antenna it is necessary by rotation to combine the center of the sector of azimuth (angle of elevation) with the image of the point of the satellite of this region.

On the intersections of the sectors of azimuth and angle of elevation with the point, which has the coordinates of vessel, to determine azimuth and angle of elevation of antenna.

*Couldn’t actually find this word but it seems to make sense. “


The satellites on the map don’t seem to match the ones on the instructions. Obviously it can be adapted to any geostationary satellite.


73 de Andy G0SFJ


Fig 3: