Industrial strength Sat Seeing

From: Allen Thomson (
Date: Wed Apr 05 2000 - 19:47:55 PDT

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    Perhaps of interest:
    which is an overview of the optical facilities at the USAF Maui satellite
    observing facility.
    Flash timers are represented there too:
    "Because of its large, twenty stellar magnitude dynamic range, the  CMP
    [Contrast Mode Photometer ] is particularly useful for observing specular
    glint measurements from artificial satellites illuminated by the sun. An
    example of a photometric signature obtained from a geostationary satellite
    is shown in Figure 5.  Much can be learned about the configuration and
    dynamics of an unknown satellite by studying the glints in CMP signatures.
    Uniform repetition of glints might indicate rotation of the object which can
    indicate that it is spin stabilized or has gone unstable. Motions and
    configuration can also be determined through analysis of the more slowly
    varying diffuse component of an optical signature."
    (Figure 5 is a light curve of Raduga 21, 1987-100A.)
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