As the STK Training Tour
van (Big Blue) progresses along its journey eastward from our Dallas stop to our Huntsville stop, I found myself yet again using STK 10
to evaluate some characteristics of the drive. I’m sitting here in the passenger seat of Big Blue while my colleague drives and I’m trying to catch up on emails, making heavy use of this wireless air card for Internet. However, past experience has shown that depending on where I am, I may or may not have a connection. I decided to do some quick analysis to figure out where my connection is most likely to drop out and leave me stranded without network access.
Again, I made use of STK 10’s KML import and “promote to object” feature to import my Google Map driving directions as an STK ground vehicle. I also happened to find a great KML document that describes the locations of all cell towers across the United States:
After importing the KML, I quickly promoted all the cell tower sites along my route to facilities. From there, I used a simple chain and constellation to analyze how many cell phone towers were within range (I used a rough cell tower range estimate) at any point in time along my journey and where I wouldn’t have any towers in range:
With that chain, I used the Calculation Tool in the STK 10 Analysis Workbench to count up all the seconds where I expected to have connectivity, and divided it by the total number of seconds I’ve been on the road to determine the percentage of time I’d be connected. I was pleased to note that I should have Internet available for roughly 90% of my trip.
It was right about then that I noticed my Internet connection had dropped out. So I pulled up my GPS to see where I was, set my STK Ground Vehicle to that same location on the map, and found that this is exactly where STK had predicted that I would be out of range of any tower:
Well, that’s enough geeking out for now. We’re about halfway through this leg and I think it’s my turn to drive soon. Hopefully I’ll see you in Alabama or any of our remaining Tour stops
. This is Big Blue, signing off ...