TLE (.tle, .tce)

Background & Context

    • TLE geospatial file format.
    • Satellite data format.
    • Stores Keplerian parameters of satellite orbits.
    • TLE is an acronym for Two-Line Element.
    • ASCII format.
    • Developed by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).


  • Import["file.tle"] imports a TLE file, returning all position data as an array.
  • Import["file.tle"] returns a three-dimensional array that represents the positions of several satellites at different times.
  • Import["file.tle",elem] imports the specified element from a TLE file.
  • Import["file.tle",{{elem1,elem2,}}] imports multiple elements.
  • The import format can be specified with Import["file","TLE"] or Import["file",{"TLE",elem,}].
  • See the following reference pages for full general information:
  • Importimport from a file
    CloudImportimport from a cloud object
    ImportStringimport from a string
    ImportByteArrayimport from a byte array

Import Elements

  • General Import elements:
  • "Elements" list of elements and options available in this file
    "Summary"summary of the file
    "Rules"list of rules for all available elements
  • Data representation elements:
  • "Data"all data elements given as an array
    "LabeledData"data columns given as a list of rules
    "Labels"column headers as a list of strings
  • Import uses the "LabeledData" element by default.
  • Import["file.tle","id"] gives all available data for the satellite with the specified identification string as a list of rules.
  • Import["file.tle",n] gives all available data for TLE record n as a list of rules.
  • Detailed data representation elements:
  • "ArgumentPeriapsis"angle of point of closest approach to Earth
    "AscendingNodeRightAscension"right ascension of the ascending node
    "BStar"B* atmospheric drag parameter
    "Classification"classification identifier
    "Eccentricity"orbit eccentricity
    "ElementNumber"revision number of orbital element set
    "EphemerisType"model used to generate orbital parameters
    "EpochDate"time reference point
    "Inclination"orbital angle of inclination
    "InternationalDesignator"international designator (COSPAR or NSSDC name)
    "LaunchYear"year of launch
    "MeanAnomaly"mean anomaly parameter
    "MeanMotion"revolutions per day
    "MeanMotionChangeRate"first derivative of mean motion (ndot2 parameter)
    "Name"full satellite name
    "RevolutionNumber"number of revolutions completed by the epoch date
    "SatelliteID"NORAD satellite number


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Basic Examples  (3)

Import the first dataset from a TLE file:

List available elements:

Import data for the specified satellite identification code:

Applications  (1)

Import all datasets from a file: