Call For Help

As many of you have noticed the API has been having some issues as of late. Unfortunately due to commitments with school, work, and health I just have not had the time to devote to maintaining the API that I did when I first launched it in 2011. Since then I have seen numerous cool projects and apps use the API and as a result UHAAPI sees an average of 20000 API requests a month which for a hobby project is quite respectable. I dont’ want to see any of those hobby projects die because of my inability to keep up with bugs and changes to the Heavens Above page layout (The cause of the recent issues). What I can commit to doing is keeping the server up and pushing updates but I just don’t have the time for code maintenance. So I’m opening up the GitHub repository in the hopes that you the users can help me keep the code up to date and hopefully add some new features. You can find the repository here

Temporary Unexpected ~24 Hour Service Outage

At some point in the last 24 hours Heavens Above changed the page layout for all satellite pass information. As a result although the API is responding with 200 OK no pass information is being returned. We are working to rewrite the scraping code for both Iridium flares and satellite pass information. The new code should be online within the next 24-48 hours.

Iridium Flares API

We’ve been actively testing some new functionality over the last month and after a absolutely horrible 49 hours of downtime in the last 45 days have finally quashed the major bug that was causing it all. This means that it’s time to announce some new functionality! Read more

Shutting Down Version 1.0

We are currently planning to permanently shutdown version 1.0 of the API on January 1, 2013. If you are still using version 1.0 we encourage switching over to the more stable, faster, and feature rich version 2.0. For those curious as of this writing less than 0.25% of traffic to the API server is requesting version 1.0 and the number continues to drop on a daily basis.

Documentation updates

We have made a few updates to the version 2.0 API documentation:
  • Added details about the HTTP From request header
  • Added details about the HTTP User-Agent request header
  • Added missing XML & JSON response bodies for the /satellites/{id}/passes resource
There will be a few more documentation updates coming in the next few weeks to better describe possible HTTP error responses, as well as expanded details on returned HTTP response headers.

Getting started with examples

We have put together some long overdue examples using a number of tools (cURL, Python, Java, Javascript) to help you get started using the API.

The first 13 months – a brief postmortem

I didn’t have time to do a write up on July 5th for the completion of the first year of operation so here is the 13 month summary. Over the last couple of months I have been building out the analytics on the API to help get a better sense of how it is being used. Now that I have a first months worth of solid data it seemed like a good idea to release some of the numbers. Read more

Service Status Monitoring

After a couple of brief service outages over the last couple of days we have added more extensive service monitoring and we are making it publicly accessible. You can find the Service Status links in the left sidebar right at the top.

Community Projects Page

We are happy to announce that we have added a projects page to the site to show off things API users have built! You can check it out here and if you have something you’ve built that you’d like us to share let us know!

Satellite TLE Update

A quick status update about adding API support to serve up to date satellite two line elements(TLEs). Internal support for providing TLE data is complete and we are almost ready to take the new service live. All that remains is to finish getting some paper work in order with US Strategic Command. As soon as we have permission the TLE service will go live. Before then we will be updating the API documentation so you can start thinking about how you would like to put this new API to use!