Frequently Asked Questions

What is a footprint map?

A footprint map illustrates how the signal of a satellite beam is distributed on the surface of the earth. Please note that satellites usually have several beams that covers various areas of the earth with different transmissions/TV-channels.

Why do I need a footprint map?

By using a footprint map you can see if a satellite beam is receivable at your location and also get an estimate of the dish size needed to pick up the signal.

How do I use the footprint maps?

If you want a list of receivable satellite beams that cover your location or which dish size is required to receive a specific beam, you can use the BeamFinder tool. Begin by the using the setup wizard and follow the instructions. If you already know the satellite you are interested in, please refer to the Satellites page.

How do I interpret a footprint map?

If you look at your location on the earth on the overview footprint map you can see if the location is within the red oval, i.e. above the horizon, and also within the coloured surface that indicates the coverage. To get a more detailed map, please click on the overview map. In the detailed footprint map, the signal strength is indicated by red colour (strong signal) and blue colour (weak signal). Look at the numbers on the level curves to get the signal strength in dBW (decibel-watts) and use the table below to get an estimate of the dish size you need to receive the signal. If you complete the BeamFinder setup, your location will be indicated by a red dot in the footprint maps.

How reliable are the footprint maps?

You should use them as a rough estimate as the footprint maps gives you an indication if a beam is receivable and a basic idea of the dish size needed. You should not purchase equipment based on this information only. Please talk to your local satellite dealer or other satellite users in your area to get more information.

The footprint does not cover my location, does this mean that I cannot receive any signals?

If your location is below the horizon, i.e. not inside the red oval in the map, it is impossible to receive any signals. If your location is above the horizon but not covered by the footprint, you still might be able to receive signals, e.g. if your location is near the boundary of the footprint map and you have a large satellite dish. Please note that a few footprint maps are only part of the whole coverage area which is indicated by horisontal or vertical "cuts" in the footprint maps. Also, some satellites are known to "leak" to areas not officially covered.

I know I can receive a satellite beam at my location, why is it not covered by the footprint map?

Outside the footprint map you still might be able to pick up signals with a large dish and/or high quality equipment. Please note that a few footprint maps are only part of the whole coverage area which is indicated by horisontal or vertical "cuts" in the footprint maps. Also, some satellites are known to "leak" to areas not officially covered.

The footprint covers my location, why can I not receive any signal?

The ability to receive a signal depends on several factors, e.g. the dish size, the quality and type of the LNB used, the correct aiming of the dish etc. Also, the actual signal strength might differ significantly from the one indicated in the footprint map at certain locations.

Why is SatStar not using Google Maps/Google Earth to display satellite footprint maps?

Google Maps/Google Earth are great tools to use if the data presented contains several layers of information that can be revealed when zooming in on a specific area. As our satellite footprints contain only one layer, Google Maps/Google Earth do not offer any additional features. Furthermore, Google Maps/Google Earth require considerably more bandwidth and are not suitable for slow internet connections. Please note that SatStar can provide KML/KMZ polygon files or overlay raster data images of satellite footprints if you wish to use Google Maps/Google Earth.

Can I use a SatStar footprint map on my own webpage?

Yes, you may use a few footprints on your own website provided that you do not modify the image, include a link to and send an email to with the URL to your website. For more information, please refer to our Terms of Use.

Why are some satellite footprint maps missing?

Unfortunately, some satellite operators do not publish official footprint maps.

How are the SatStar footprint maps made?

They are all made by using our in-house developed tool, a powerful software package called SatMap Suite. We base our footprints on the most recent official ones available from the satellite operators. We begin by extracting data from these footprints and determine the map projection used, i.e. how the earth is presented in two dimensions. The next step is to create vector data for the level curves and raster data for the signal strength in the coverage area. Finally, we create footprint images using the vector and raster data. The raster data is also used in the BeamFinder tool to get an estimate of a satellite beams signal strength at a specific location.

I need custom made satellite footprint maps, is it possible for SatStar to provide these?

Yes, we can provide custom made footprint maps with higher resolution using any background map and projection. For more information, please contact

I need vector and/or raster data of satellite footprint beams to develop an application, is it possible for SatStar to provide these?

We might licence the use of our footprint data for third party applications, for more information please contact


  • STB Development
  • Coverage Maps
  • TVRO application

STB development with channel updates

and TV guide data from the internet

Satellite footprints with BeamFinder

TV listings metadata aggregation system

Maritime TVRO application development

Satellite Data

Looking for technical information about satellites and beam coverage maps?

SatStar can provide detailed technical information about commercial geostationary satellites. It can be used by professionals, e.g. for budget link calculations, and can easily be integrated into custom applications.

All data can be stored in a database, including downlink and uplink coverage maps, frequency plans, transmissions, TV/radio channels etc. For more information, please refer to the Satellite Data page.

Satellite Data