Object Browser

When you insert an object into a scenario, that object appears in the Object Browser along with the scenario object. You can click the icons in the Object Browser's integrated toolbar to perform the following functions with your objects:

Icon Function
(Properties) Opens the Properties window for the object highlighted in the Object Browser.
(Graphics Color Selectors)

When selected (highlighted), it shows the color boxes of each object. These color boxes indicate the color assigned to each object in the graphics windows. You can double-click an individual color box to change it; the "Select color" dialog box will appear to provide possible selections. STK will not display graphics color selectors for objects for the following:

  • MTO objects
  • Objects that have two or more graphics intervals
  • Objects that do not have 2D graphics attributes
(Graphics On/Off Toggles) When selected (highlighted), you can see the individual object check boxes that control whether or not particular objects appear in the graphics windows. For an object to appear in the graphics windows, its individual graphics check box must be selected.
(New Group) Creates a folder in which you can place one or more objects. You can rename the folder to provide some meaningful context to the objects located within the folder. You can also create a new group by right-clicking the white space in the Object Browser and selecting Create a new Group. This right-click option is not available if there are no objects in the Object Browser.
Cut (Cut) Cuts the highlighted object from the Object Browser.
Copy (Copy) Copies the highlighted object from the Object Browser.
Paste (Paste) Pastes the most recent object cut or copied from the Object Browser.
(Delete) Deletes the highlighted object from the Object Browser.
(Print) Opens the Print dialog box to print a snapshot of the current Object Browser configuration.
(Find) Opens the Find dialog box, from which you search for a word or phrase in the Object Browser.
(Expand selected object(s)) Expands all objects you highlight, if expansion is possible for the objects.
(Collapse selected object(s)) Collapses all objects you highlight, if collapse is possible for the objects.
(Expand all groups) Expands all the group folders.
(Collapse all groups) Collapses all the group folders.


Additional expanding and collapsing

For a specific object, click next to the object name to collapse its subobjects or to expand them.

To expand or collapse the entire Object Browser (entire scenario), click or next to the scenario object or right-click the white space in the Object Browser and select Expand All or Collapse All. These are not available upon right-clicking if there are no objects in the Object Browser.

Understanding object hierarchy

Some objects can contain other objects subordinate to them, such as a satellite with a sensor. In STK, objects that contain other objects are called parents, and the objects within them are called children. When an object is a parent to one or more child objects, a plus or minus sign appears to the left of it in the Object Browser, indicating that you can collapse or expand the object tree of the selected item to hide or show its children. The following are common STK objects:


A vehicle is an object that changes its position and orientation over time. The vehicle class includes all satellites , aircraft , ships , ground vehicles , missiles , and launch vehicles . Vehicles can have children such as sensors, receivers, and transmitters.

Facilities and targets

Facilities and targets are immobile points on the Earth's surface. Typically, facilities mark the position of ground stations, launch sites, tracking stations, etc. You can use targets to represent points of interest for sensor coverage, locations of cities, etc. Facilities and targets can have children such as sensors, receivers, and transmitters.


You can use sensors to represent such equipment as optical or radar sensors, receiving or transmitting antennas, and lasers. The sensor object is also useful for defining another object's field of view. Sensors are children of vehicles, facilities, and targets. The sensor object can also have children of its own.

Planets and stars

Complex scenarios often include planets and stars to provide a complete analysis of sensor in-view opportunities. Planets represent objects in heliocentric orbit such as planets, minor planets, asteroids, and comets. STK also includes the Moon and the Sun in the Planet class. Planets can have children such as receivers and transmitters. In STK, the star object is used to represent "stationary" objects such as stars, quasars, and pulsars. Unlike planets, stars cannot have children.

Area targets

Area targets are defined regions of interest on the Earth. They are useful when you need to define a geographical area instead of a specific point on the Earth's surface. Area targets cannot have children.

Line Targets

Line Targets are objects that define a line connecting selected points on the surface of the earth. You can define 2D and 3D graphics properties for a line target, and you can impose various kinds of constraints on it.

Multi-Track Objects (MTOs)

Use MTOs to group together many moving or stationary objects. An MTO consists of two or more tracks. Each track consists of points with time, latitude, longitude, and altitude information. MTOs provide the most efficient way to display a large number of objects quickly in STK. MTOs can be used only for visualization. If you want to provide analysis of objects, such as graphs, reports, and access calculations, you cannot use a multi-track object.

Group objects

You can group objects in the Object Browser into folders to show that they are related or have something in common. Objects function in the same way whether or not they appear in a folder.