re: Amateurs to provide observations to USAF?

Philip Chien (
Thu, 15 Apr 1999 14:54:58 -0400

>I would like to pose a query...  If the infrastructure existed to allow
>amateur astronomers to recieve satellite tracking "assignments" from the
>U.S. Air Force Space Surveillance Network, would you be willing to

not unless there was a tit-for-tat where the participants would get
something in exchange.

For most of us satellite observing is a _HOBBY_.  Not something where we
expected to receive orders "You will look for this at this time".  Granted
some of us are in the industry, and there are certainly leeches on SeeSat
who contribute nothing but use the information they read for financial or
other personal gain (as part of their work or other reasons).

If the Air Force wants me to look for satellites for them without pay then
the least they could do is provide information back to me about objects of
interest to me, listen to my suggestions, and respond to my requests for

And a Baker-Nunn camera would be a nice reason too ...

"Allen Thomson" <> said:

>Isn't GPS (small irony here) the natural solution for timing and
>synchronization of observations?

Yes and yes.  Tom Clark's "Totally Accurate Clock" is a fairly inexpensive
GPS receiver / hardware combo which is more than adequate for satellite
tracking purposes.  Tom's about to enter the hospital for some major
surgery and I hope it goes well for him.  TAC is available from TAPR at

Philip Chien, KC4YER
Earth News
world (in)famous writer, science fiction fan, ham radio operator,
all-around nice guy, etc.