Debris cataloging

From: Leo Barhorst (leobarhorst@zonnet.nl)
Date: Mon Apr 17 2000 - 13:04:20 PDT

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    As for the discusions about the debris cataloging on Seesat-L and the
    private mails I had with John Gardner I agree with Vladimir Agopov that for
    a lot of debris the date of originate can be calculated backwards.
    It will be a lot of work.
    
    However in the RAE table of Artificial satellites and then in the monthly
    updates there was a lot of information on the fragmentation of objects. I
    don't know if these dates were calculated by the people at RAE.
    Also there is the 'Satellite Debris Observer' or something named like it.
    I've read about it a couple of times in the last years.
    
    In a lot of cases debris was catalogued together with the 'parent'
    object(s). Although the object they originate from is then not always known,
    the date can be very certain.
    As for example the Tiros 1 de-spin weights were catalogued just over a year
    and 14 months after the launch of Tiros 1. Of course the were jettistoned
    shortly after launch when the satellite was de-spun.
    This also goes for nosecaps and covers, which are usually jettistoned
    shortly after the sat reaches orbit.
    
    I've an Excel 97 database of all catalogued objects and discused with John
    if sorting out the debris could be helpfull. I've gone through the first 500
    entries and came up with 192 object catalogued 'out of order'.
    Below is a short example with the launch and launchdate of the staellite
    before and after:
    
    Norad  Cospar  ID Name                            Launchdate  Launch before
    Launch after
    00074 1960 16 C Tiros 2 de-spin weight 601123.47 1961 02 A 610204.1 1961 03
    A 610212.09
    00075 1960 16 D Tiros 2 de-spin weight 601123.47 1961 02 A 610204.1 1961 03
    A 610212.09
    00079 1961 01 B Samos 2 nosecap 610131.85 1961 03 A 610212.09 1961 04 A
    610216.55
    00085 1961 04 C Explorer 9 debris 610216.55 1961 06 A 610218.95 1961 07 A
    610222.16
    00086 1961 04 D Explorer 9 debris 610216.55 1961 06 A 610218.95 1961 07 A
    610222.16
    00088 1961 05 B Discoverer 20 debris 610217.85 1961 07 A 610222.16 1961 08 A
    610309.27
    00089 1961 05 C Discoverer 20 debris 610217.85 1961 07 A 610222.16 1961 08 A
    610309.27
    00090 1961 05 D Discoverer 20 debris 610217.85 1961 07 A 610222.16 1961 08 A
    610309.27
    00099 1960 03 D Transit 1B de-spin weigth 600413.50 1961 10 A 610325.64 1961
    11 A 610408.75
    
    So the Tiros de-spin weights were catalogued betwwn 1961 februari 04.1 and
    12.09
    Surely there were jettistoned shortly after Tiros 2 was in orbit on 1960
    november 23
    
    I'm willing to inclued the actual date the debris originated in my
    (debris)list and mantain it. Of course the list will be made available to
    Seesat-L on the VSOHP (Visual Satellite Observers Home Page) and be updated
    whenever new data is available.
    
    I'm looking foreward hearing from you
    
    Greetings and clear, dark skies
    Leo Barhorst
    52.767 N  5.09 E  2 m ASL
    
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