Is the utility PREDICT good enough for operational orbital prediction?

2017-07-17 11:21:03

I'm looking for a cheap and cheerful, but ultimately working utility or library for tracking a cubesat and predicting link windows. I've been looking at using Orekit. I'm a student, so a lot of its capability is just over my knowledge horizon, but its authors' assertion that it has been used and benchmarked by CNES looks like a good bet.

I've been asked to look at PREDICT (http://www.qsl.net/kd2bd/predict.html), which seems to have a lot of use by amateurs and a little use by NASA and other organisations. It uses the same SGP4 propagation model as Orekit, but has no apparent facility for updating reference data. Its last release was in 2006.

Can anyone offer their experience of PREDICT and tell me whether this is going to be up to scratch for a satellite we definitely want to communicate with on each pass?

Many thanks for the attention.