Optical 12 April 2009-automatic

From: Greg Roberts (grr@telkomsa.net)
Date: Wed Apr 15 2009 - 12:41:22 UTC

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    Observations 12 April 2009
    ----------------------------
    
    Cosatrak 1 (Computerised satellite Tracking System).
    Camera mount now carries two systems that can be operated 
    together as two totally different sytems and computers used.
    Generally the DSI Pro II camera will be used for high altitude
    slow moving objects. Tests seem to indicate that its sensitivity
    is comparable to the MINTRON ( possibly better) but as its not
    possible (?) to time stamp to better than 1 second accuracy the 
    time resolution is not good enough for LEO objects. 
    
    (1) 145mm focal length f/2.5 lens fitted to 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.
    Image integrated for 2.56 seconds but exposure depends on sky background
    brightness. Field of view 2.5 x 1.9 degrees and showing about mag +12
    stars in "real time". Used as a finder for the 6 inch reflector.
    Individual frames are video time stamped with GPS derived signal.
    
    (2)Meade DSI Pro II Monochrome CCD camera without filters.
    using integration times of 20 sec min to 60 seconds maximum
    depending on brightness of sky in particular area.No image
    processing done.
    Used with 6 inch f/5 CELESTRON reflector modified to f/2.7 with home
    made corrector lens.Field of view 55 by 40 arc minutes and showing 
    15th magnitude stars in real time.
    Exposure time to nearest second inserted into image FITS header 
    from PC clock which is automatically checked every minute against 
    GPS signal. 
    
    Site 0433 : Longitude 18.51294 deg East, Latitude -33.94058 deg,
    Elevation 10 metres-situated in Pinelands (Cape Town),South Africa
    
    For CLASSFD.TLE:
    --------------------
    05204 71 039A   0433 P 20090412185602500 16 15 1302282-030317 77  +118 01  
    05204 71 039A   0433 P 20090412185619500 16 15 1302447-030350 28  +115 02  
    05204 71 039A   0433 P 20090412185635500 16 15 1303011-030420 67           
    05851 72 010A   0433 P 20090412175935000 16 15 1241323-013812 28  +112 02  
    05851 72 010A   0433 P 20090412180019000 16 15 1242165-014018 67  +114 02  
    05851 72 010A   0433 P 20090412180042000 16 15 1242387-014122 87           
    05851 72 010A   0433 P 20090412180104000 16 15 1243006-014226 57  +112 01  
    05851 72 010A   0433 P 20090412180148000 16 15 1243449-014434 97  +120 03  
    08482 75 118A   0433 P 20090412203012500 16 15 1101430+043007 97  +142 04  
    08482 75 118A   0433 P 20090412203117500 16 15 1102451+042456 25           
    08482 75 118A   0433 P 20090412203150500 16 15 1103168+042249 18  +133 03  
    08482 75 118A   0433 P 20090412203223500 16 15 1103483+042100 28           
    08482 75 118A   0433 P 20090412203256500 16 15 1104199+041901 18           
    09803 77 007A   0433 P 20090412175505000 16 15 1252118-001334 67  +130 02  
    09803 77 007A   0433 P 20090412175539000 16 15 1252448-001545 28  +134 04  
    09803 77 007A   0433 P 20090412175550000 16 15 1252553-001623 87           
    09803 77 007A   0433 P 20090412175601000 16 15 1253059-001701 28  +133 04  
    11397 79 053A   0433 P 20090412185148500 16 35 1243301+034345 68    
    11397 79 053A   0433 P 20090412185204500 16 15 1243336+032521 18           
    11397 79 053A   0433 P 20090412185220500 16 15 1243490+032404 48  +134 04  
    11397 79 053A   0433 P 20090412185309500 16 25 1244598+032051 68  +111 47  
    11397 79 053A   0433 P 20090412185326500 16 35 1244861+033223 29           
    11397 79 053A   0433 P 20090412185342500 16 15 1245072+031811 38           
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    96061 96 561A   0433 P 20090412182826000 16 15 1247326+090357 49           
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    96076 96 576A   0433 P 20090412214352500 16 15 0912019+085307 58  +133 05  
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    96091 96 591A   0433 P 20090412202524500 16 15 1131350+051057 18  +115 02  
    96091 96 591A   0433 P 20090412202557500 16 15 1132073+050909 97           
    96091 96 591A   0433 P 20090412202613500 16 15 1132235+050823 48  +107 02  
    96093 96 593A   0433 P 20090412194927500 16 15 1217036-013433 57           
    96093 96 593A   0433 P 20090412195105500 16 15 1218414-013840 67  +123 02  
    96093 96 593A   0433 P 20090412195121500 16 15 1218581-013934 67  +123 01  
    96093 96 593A   0433 P 20090412195138500 16 15 1219144-013959 38           
    96094 96 594A   0433 P 20090412181649000 16 15 1301337+043548 28  +122 03  
    
    
    Notes:
    --------
    (1) These satellites were reported earlier done in manual mode. I have 
        now "fine-tuned" the automatic reduction program - APEX-II - to 
        handle observations made under very poor conditions . Approximately 
        600 images were reduced and the above are the images that produced a 
        solution. I still need to sort out why two satellites failed to 
        reduce despite reasonable images. It took APEX-II approximately 4-5 
        hours to process the 600 images. Still have a lot to learn about
        APEX-II but Scott and I are making good progress.Unfortunately it
        only works on 16-bit FIT's images as far as I can determine( but I
        have been known to be wrong in the past!!!). 
    
        Some of the magnitudes do not look anywhere near correct. Conditions
        were very poor-certainly could not see mag +14 and none were brighter
        than about mag +8. I dont think I have much control over this part-maybe
        I should configure the program to ignore saturated stars...
        
    (2) Tonight I hope to try out a new optical system which should produce
        better quality images.
        
    Cheers
    Greg
    
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