Satellite Dish Pointer

Current Version: 2.1 (01/22/2023)

The Satellite Dish Pointing Calculator

This tool provides coordinates to help you locate geostationary satellites in orbit, primarily for those installing and pointing satellite dishes.

To use the dish pointer, in most cases you don’t really need to enter any information — the program will use network resources (your browser may ask location permission) to approximate your location, and display a map and set the program’s geographical location entry fields. Users with location blocking or Starlink, ViaSat, HughesNet, etc. will need to enter coordinates manually. For satellite dish alignment, this approximate position is nearly always more than adequate.

To enter a custom position, for example to create a satellite pointing table for a location other than your own, either zoom and click the map, or type in a geographic position and click “calculate”.

There is more complete documentation below the application.

Dish Pointing Application

Select a location with this map, drag and zoom in for accuracy for your position (powered by OpenStreetMap and Leaflet):

Awaiting network location ...

(your browser may ask your permission
to provide this information)

Note Satellite imagery is updated every 1/2 hour from GOES 16 and 18

Or type in a position (not needed if you used the map to pick your location), then press "calculate":

Coordinates Degrees Minutes Hemisphere
North South
West East
Magnetic declination  

Here are the results, Geostationary Weather Satellites and Inmarsat are listed first, scrolling down will show the calculations for 539 GeoStationary Satellites (Updated as of January 2023) (full explanation below):

The Details

Because all the geo stationary satellites lie directly over the equator, and because they are all at the same altitude, the mathematics required to produce viewing angles is basically the same for each satellite to compute the satellite pointing angles.

Remember these guidlines for entering location:

  • If you choose to type in a geographical position, remember the entries can be expressed in decimal degrees, or degrees and decimal minutes, as shown in these example entries for 40° 12.5' north:

    • 40 degrees, 12.5 minutes
    • 40.20833 degrees, 0 minutes

    If you choose to make a single decimal degree entry (such as 40.20833) as in the second example above, be sure the minute value is set to zero.

  • Using the information in the data data table, the columns are:

    • "Sat Name": The common name of a particular satellite.
    • "Sat Lng": The geographical longitude of the satellite, its position along the geostationary orbit in Earth-centered coordinates. Specifically, a satellite with a listed orbital longitude of -120° would lie directly above Earth's equator at a terrestrial longitude of 120° West.
    • "Az(t)": The true-North azimuthal angle for the satellite at the chosen site. The Azimuth represents a horizontal circle measured in degrees:

      • 0° = North
      • 90° = East
      • 180° = South
      • 270° = West

    • "Az(m)": As above, but for a magnetic North reference rather than True. This number is more useful for a typical field installation where the simplest way to measure azimuth is with a magnetic compass.
    • "El": An elevation angle in degrees, with 0° = horizontal and 90° = vertical. Some satellites will be listed with negative elevation numbers — these represent positions below the local horizon.
    • "Skew:0°": This is the skew angle, which is the angle the LNB and/or dish needs to be rotated to. By convention, a zero skew angle means the dish is level with the horizon, while negative values mean the dish is rotated counterclockwise as viewed from the rear.
    • "Skew:90°": This is the same information as "Skew:0" but with 90 degrees added. This is for receiver dish models that have skew scales centered on 90 degrees instead of zero.

  • This Dishpointer calculates magnetic declination using method that is quite accurate, (magnetic declination updates 1/2023) more accurate than needed for satellite dish pointing. Remember when using a magnetic compass in the field that virtually all present dishes are fully or partly ferrous and will spoil the compass reading unless the compass is well removed from the dish itself.
  • The satellite list includes common receiver dish models as well as satellites.


Credit to Paul Lutus for his open-source scripting that allowed me to adapt it for my site, T.S. Kelso and Celestrak for the TLE’s for geostationary satellites