Obs 02 April 2005 (end)

From: Greg Roberts (grr@iafrica.com)
Date: Thu Apr 07 2005 - 12:08:56 EDT

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    Observations 02 April 2005
    ------------------------------------
    Cosatrak 1 (Computerised satellite Tracking System).
    MINTRON low light level CCD surveillance camera (0.005 lux typical
    in non integration mode) and 0.00005 lux in STARLIGHT mode with 128
    frame integration,equivalent to 2.56 sec exposures. 100 such
    exposures are then added together to give an effective exposure time
    of 256 seconds for each image examined for geostationaries.
    
    Used with 145mm focal length f/2.5 lens giving a field of view of
    about 2.55 x 1.86 degrees and easily showing 12th magnitude stars
    in real time.
    
    Data recorded on DVD R/W disks - will be kept for 1 month and then
    re-used - just in case any queries as Im always making mistakes!
    
    Site 0433 : Longitude 18.51294 deg East, Latitude  33.94058 deg S,
    Elevation 10 metres - situated in Pinelands (Cape Town), South Africa
    
    LEO SATELLITES- ALTITUDE <10000 KILOMETRES
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    SL6 R/B-2 range 9650 km
    09980 77 032D   0433 G 20050402221704000 17 15 1004438+120414 39  +085 05
    UARS
    21701 91 063B   0433 G 20050402174510000 17 15 0645597+081846 39  +015 05
    21701 91 063B   0433 G 20050402174511800 17 15 0648429+085859 39  +015 05
    SL-14 R/B
    14148 83 061B   0433 G 20050402174519400 17 15 0642365+083053 39  +037 05
    SL-14 R/B
    12880 81 098B   0433 G 20050402174525000 17 15 0650132+084438 39  +065 05
    SL-8 R/B
    13128 82 030B   0433 G 20050402174604500 17 15 0644095+080539 39  +066 05
    SL-8 R/B
    10938 78 056J   0433 G 20050402181846300 17 15 0835291+082741 39  +070 05
    SL-8 R/B
    05847 72 009B   0433 G 20050402183708700 17 15 0839461+031133 39  +040 05
    SL-16 R/B
    17974 87 041B   0433 G 20050402184104200 17 15 0851270+024938 39  +020 05
    COSMOS 1299
    12783 81 081A   0433 G 20050402184638600 17 15 0851264+012401 39  +055 05
    COSMOS 2408
    28419 04 037A   0433 G 20050402184934600 17 15 0909162+014756 39  +080 05
    SL-8 R/B
    06207 72 074B   0433 G 20050402185301400 17 15 0900347+002155 39  +040 05
    
    ALTITUDE > 10000 KILOMETRES
    --------------------------------------------
    ATLAS CENTAUR ROCKET i=27,p=748m,552 x 36322kms,observed 32240km range
    06058 72 041B   0433 G 20050402220602500 17 15 1222169-111142 39  +095 05
    TITAN 3C TRANSTAGE - NEAR GEOSTATIONARY - DRIFTER
    03292 68 050J   0433 G 20050402182922800 17 15 0832144+052527 39  +085 05
    DELTA 2 R/B i=17.8,p=415m,e=0.63,455 x 23664km,observed 9875km range
    11792 66 096C   0433 G 20050402190610400 17 15 0909446-022719 39  +095 05
    ATLAS CENTAUR ROCKET,i = 27,p=648,550 x 36324km,observed 17000km range
    06058 72 041B   0433 G 20050402195818800 17 15 1025047+111741 39
    ARIANE 44L DEBRI, observed 21200km range
    27667 91 075C   0433 G 20050402200432500 17 15 1058534+082603 39  +105 05
    TITAN 3C TRANSTAGE,i =26.7,p=392,345 x 22433km,observed 22643km range
    01863 65 108A   0433 G 20050402201445000 17 15 1108542+070527 39  +105 05
    
    GEOSTATIONARIES:
    -----------------------------
    USA 149 DSP 20
    26356 00 024A   0433 G 20050402222122600 17 15 1133272+070213 39  +096 05
    26356 00 024A   0433 G 20050402175027200 17 15 0701335+062256 39
    MILSTAR 5
    27168 02 001A   0433 G 20050402173210400 17 15 0624108+070006 39
    
    INMARSAT 4 F1
    28628 05 009A   0433 G 20050402172544600 17 15 0638180+061514 39
    ARTEMIS
    26863 01 029A   0433 G 20050402181807300 17 15 0830081+074429 39  +130 05
    ARABSAT 2A
    23948 96 040A   0433 G 20050402182344700 17 15 0830449+072139 39  +095 05
    AFRISTAR
    25515 98 063A   0433 G 20050402183121900 17 15 0841225+053054 39
    EUTELSAT W3
    25673 99 018A   0433 G 20050402183225800 17 15 0845089+052946 39
    ASTRA 3A
    27400 02 015B   0433 G 20050402183436900 17 15 0855449+052454 39  +092 05
    ARABSAT 2B
    24652 96 063A   0433 G 20050402202227800 17 15 1116039+052836 39  +089 05
    24652 96 063A   0433 G 20050402202352200 17 15 1117195+052856 39  +089 05
    TITAN 3C TRANSTAGE
    07324 74 039C   0433 G 20050402202352200 17 15 1121050+061939 39  +095 05
    INMARSAT 3F5
    25153 98 006B   0433 G 20050402202553000 17 15 1054202+054222 39  +100 05
    25153 98 006B   0433 G 20050402202706800 17 15 1055344+054218 39  +100 05
    ARABSAT 3A
    25638 99 009A   0433 G 20050402202706800 17 15 1059206+053030 39  +090 05
    HOTBIRD 5
    25495 98 057A   0433 G 20050402202706800 17 15 1059555+052837 39  +095 05
    PAS 5
    24916 97 046A   0433 G 20050402202706800 17 15 1101014+053048 39  +097 05
    XTAR-EUR
    28542 05 005A   0433 G 20050402203157400 17 15 1118397+052927 39  +090 05
    ARABSAT 2B
    24652 96 063A   0433 G 20050402203157400 17 15 1125343+052910 39  +090 05
    ASTRA 3A
    27400 02 015B   0433 G 20050402203406200 17 15 1055334+052746 39  +088 05
    ASTRA 1D
    23331 94 070A   0433 G 20050402203406200 17 15 1055531+053312 39  +110 05
    
    Notes:
    --------
    (1) This concludes observations of 2nd April which was a scan of several
        zones along the geostationary belt down to about magnitude 12.
    
    (2) It is sometimes difficult to positively identify which geostationary
        is which as quite frequently the satellites can be as much as half a
        degree away from the predicted position. In some cases several
        satellites are in a tight cluster and it is not obvious which is which.
        This applies to the one ASTRA grouping (ASTRA 2B,ASTRA 2D,ASTRA 2A,
        EUROBIRD and XTAR-EUR. Ive only reported XTAR-EUR as this was a little
        offset from the rest. The HOTBIRD cluster is another example of a
        tight grouping of 5 satellites. The other ASTRA group has six  satellites, 
    all
        about magnitude +11.5 - none were measured.
    
    (3) I am quite suprised that no GORIZONTS,RADUGA or EKRAN satellites were
        seen - they must have been fainter than my detection limit.
    
    (4) #26356 is a typical DSP satellite ,flashing every 2.5 seconds for about
        20-30 minutes every night when the sun is correctly positioned. It is
        also visible as a steady object before and after flashing takes place
        and around my midnight it is quite bright.
    
    (5) MILSTAR DFS2 ( not reported this time as not seen) is proving to be
        quite elusive. The current element set is good enough but the satellite
        is relatively faint, mostly around magnitude +11 or fainter so is easy
        to miss. MILSTAR 5 on the otherhand is "easy" . I do not know how
        MILSTAR DFS2 was identified as the object being tracked but its optical
        characteristics do not seem to indicate a MILSTAR.
    
    (6) The LEO satellite and other non-geostationary objects reported happened
        to be in the field of view of the zone being examined so were measured.
    
    (7) I only have a few more zones to do then will probably abandon this
        particular project as its a lot of work for little return.
    
    Cheers
    Greg 
    
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