Currently there are around 2,700 satellites orbiting the Earth. The satellites offer various services including communication and messaging services, Earth imagery, space imagery, weather, extreme weather, Global Positioning System (GPS), remote sensors, and navigation. Developers wishing to interact with data from or about these satellites are most likely seeking APIs to accomplish their task.
What is a Satellites API?
A Satellite Application Programming Interface, or API, allows developers to connect and interact with data from the Satellite's software. This could be data collected from a satellite, or data about a satellite's functions.
Developers looking to find Satellites APIs should check out the Satellites category on ProgrammableWeb, where a directory of APIs, SDKs, source code samples and other resources can be found.
In this article, we detail the ten most popular APIs for satellites, as determined by page views on ProgrammableWeb.
1. UrtheCast Geosys API
UrtheCast provides satellite remote sensing technology for the agriculture industry. The Geosys Bridge APITrack this API provides programmatic access to Geosys remote sensor data processing tools. The API allows a business to access weather and agriculture imagery from satellite, integrate analytical data, optimize data flow, and filter options for complex requests.
2. Unofficial SpaceX API
SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft for public space programs as well as private enterprises. The Unofficial SpaceX Open Source REST APITrack this API provides rocket, core, capsule, pad, and launch data. This public API does not require authentication and includes endpoints for launches, rockets, capsules, payload (such as satellites) company info, roadster Info, and others.
3. Planet API
Planet Labs provides imagery of the Earth from space to make global change visible, accessible, and actionable. The Planet APITrack this API integrates Earth satellite images and data in near real-time. Imagery options include scenes and mosaics. The Planet Tiles API returns data about tiled imagery of the Earth in desktop and web applications that support XYZ and WMTS protocols. With the API, developers can discover and display imagery to display in web browsers.
4. NASA Earth API
NASA's Earth APITrack this API gives users access to Earth observation data. The Earth API is powered by the Google Earth Engine and consists of a database of images from Landsat 8. Landsat 8 is NASA satellite that takes images of the entire Earth every 16 days. Users can query the database for images of a specific place at a specific date.
5. SkyWatch API
SkyWatch is a company that specializes in capturing and providing accessibility to satellite data. The SkyWatch platform, EarthCache, allows users to retrieve remote sensing datasets for consumption in a variety of business, enterprise, and scientific applications. The SkyWatch API returns responses in JSON format.
6. Astro Digital API
Astro Digital provides satellite images from space and makes them available through an API. The Astro Digital REST APITrack this API allows developers to retrieve assets and images, manage tasks and manage users. Their Landmapper satellite constellation produces high pixel quality, global imagery in visible and infrared spectrum for analysis.
7. Amentum Atmosphere API
Amentum Aerospace is a provider of modeling software and web APIs for space operations and research. Amentum Atmosphere APITrack this API provides accurate data of density, composition, and temperature of the Earth's atmosphere based on the NRLMSISE-00 model. The NRLMSISE-00 model was developed by the US Naval Research Laboratory to determine atmospheric drag and accelerometer data for spacecraft and satellites. This model enables the computation of MSIS parameters: neutral temperature, exospheric temperature, densities of He, O, N2, O2, Ar, H, N, and total mass density.
Video: YouTube/ AmentumAerospace
8. PathSense API
The PathSense service provides geofencing capabilities for applications. The PathSense API is indirectly accessible via iOS and Android SDKs, and features GPS accuracy in cities with tall buildings, tunnels, etc. The Android/iOS TruePath (road snapping) matches notoriously messy GPS data to roads, even in areas where tall buildings block the GPS signal, such as San Francisco, Chicago, and New York. The service features low power background location, continuous tracking of visits and paths, with near zero battery drain.
9. NASA Satellite Situation Center API
NASA's Satellite Situation Center (SSC) API gives users access to a wide variety of tools and data related to space sciences including: space physics data, data for rockets and satellites, data concerning heliophysics and several others. The SSC API was created by the NASA/GSFC Space Physics Data Facility (SPDF) and the National Space Science Data Center (NSSDC) with the express intent of helping to promote collaborative research across disciplines. SSC's primary purpose is to track and predict geocentric spacecraft location while also providing a variety of relevant empirical data, mappings, and data analysis.
10. Blockstream Satellite API
Blockstream Satellite network broadcasts the Bitcoin blockchain for free. The Blockstream Satellite REST API allows users to create applications that broadcast messages globally using the Blockstream Satellite network. It is open for anyone to integrate the API into existing applications or build new services that can send both encrypted and unencrypted data.