New Augmented Reality app allows you to spot the International Space Station

In Augmented Reality News

November 22, 2023 – Solwey Consulting, an Austin-based woman-owned small business specializing in data, design, and software solutions, has recently announced its involvement in the development of NASA’s custom ‘Spot the Station’ mobile app.

According to Solwey, the project was part of a collaboration with Ensemble Consultancy under NASA’s Open Innovation Services contract, known as NOIS2. Ensemble, as a NOIS2 vendor, engaged Solwey for the app’s development, testing, and maintenance.

Solwey was chosen from twelve software agencies to create a unique application that incorporates augmented reality (AR) and interactive map visualizations. The ‘Spot the Station’ app enables users to track the International Space Station (ISS), notifying them when it is nearby. The app integrates AR technology to overlay the ISS’s trajectory with a phone’s camera view, enhancing the stargazing experience.

“We’ve learned a significant amount in working with a brand as big as NASA on a cutting-edge project that aims to inspire and educate, empowering people worldwide to experience the awe-inspiring sight of the space station passing overhead,” commented Andrew Drach, co-founder and CEO of Solwey. “This project is a testament to how custom software helps solve some of the greatest challenges society faces — and it exemplifies our dedication to delivering cutting-edge solutions that tackle unique challenges across diverse industries.”


The ‘Spot the Station’ app offers a user-friendly interface, providing a list of upcoming sighting opportunities of the ISS based on selected locations. It also features 2D and 3D interactive maps to trace the ISS’s current path globally. Additional resources, including news and informative details about the station, are accessible within the app.

Solwey’s technical contribution to the project involved developing open-source React Native code for both front and back ends, compatible with iOS and Android platforms. Additionally, Solwy stated that the general public can submit updates to the open-source code repository, which is managed and maintained by Solwey engineers under NASA’s GitHub account.

“Helping create the Spot the Station app was an exciting endeavor that pushed our creative boundaries. Every user experience unlocked by this application is made possible through the efficient back-end code developed by our team to receive data from the space station, calculate its live trajectory and current spatial position relevant to the user-provided location and produce a list of future sighting opportunities, all in an almost real-time manner,” said Monika Jociunaite, co-founder and creative director of Solwey.

Solwey Consulting noted that since its founding in 2016 it has developed over 80 digital products, including a logistics platform for perishable items and an AI-powered machine learning platform for data scientists.

The ‘Spot the Station’ App is now available for download on iOS and Android platforms, with the release coinciding with the 23rd anniversary of the ISS.

For further information about Solwey Consulting and its custom augmented reality software solutions, please visit the company’s website.

Image credit: Solwey Consulting

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.