Optical 21 April 2009

From: Greg Roberts (grr@telkomsa.net)
Date: Wed Apr 22 2009 - 13:00:20 UTC

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    Observations 21 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 5 sec min to 25 seconds maximum
    depending on brightness of sky in particular area.No image
    processing done, but some done automatically in the auto reduction
    software
    .
    Used with 4 inch SKYWATCHER refractor- model 1025 - fitted with home
    made focal reducur to give an f/2.56 system. Image scale is 6.56 arc
    sec/pixel and field of view 84.8 x 63.2 arc minutes. This telescope
    will replace the 6 inch reflector used previously as image quality is
    better, has a larger field of view, less surface area so less prone to
    wind shake, and in addition is at least as sensitive, if not superior
    to the 6 inch reflector. Shows 15th magnitude stars in real time with
    reasonably good conditions.
    
    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 CLASSIFIED.TLE:
    ----------------------------
    
    The following done manually:( image capturing program played up so
    APEX-II was unable to process these particular images!)
    
    15543 85 010B   0433 P 20090421191042000 56 15 1419589+031834 39  +095 05
    15543 85 010B   0433 P 20090421191753000 56 15 1426558+024626 39  +095 05
    28117 03 057A   0433 P 20090421184706000 56 15 1356138+035426 39  +110 05
    28117 03 057A   0433 P 20090421191042000 56 15 1419527+034347 39  +105 05
    25967 99 063A   0433 P 20090421185254000 56 15 1407414+053749 39  +100 05
    25967 99 063A   0433 P 20090421190401000 56 15 1418477+053111 39  +100 05
    26880 01 033A   0433 P 20090421181942000 56 15 1321268+084215 39  +110 05
    26880 01 033A   0433 P 20090421182535000 56 15 1327216+083807 39  +125 05
    
    The following done automatically using APEX-II:
    
    22787 93 056A   0433 P 20090421203242000 16 15 1232578+100840 28  +116 02
    22787 93 056A   0433 P 20090421203512000 16 15 1235276+100508 28
    22787 93 056A   0433 P 20090421203742000 16 15 1237580+100133 28  +117 02
    25501 98 058A   0433 P 20090421202439500 16 15 1100366+081031 28  +133 01
    25501 98 058A   0433 P 20090421202712000 16 15 1103055+080904 28  +136 01
    25501 98 058A   0433 P 20090421203027000 16 15 1106163+080711 28  +130 03
    26635 00 080A   0433 P 20090421195212000 16 15 0856207+083629 28  +117 01
    26635 00 080A   0433 P 20090421195411000 16 15 0858211+083628 28
    26635 00 080A   0433 P 20090421195611000 16 15 0900211+083626 18  +117 01
    27938 03 041B   0433 P 20090421201809500 16 15 1432116+085511 28  +107 01
    27938 03 041B   0433 P 20090421202009500 16 15 1434112+085637 97  +104 01
    27938 03 041B   0433 P 20090421202209500 16 15 1436118+085801 38  +106 01
    29242 06 024C   0433 P 20090421194427000 16 15 0854070+074547 38
    29242 06 024C   0433 P 20090421194642000 16 15 0856275+074631 28  +141 02
    29242 06 024C   0433 P 20090421194832000 16 15 0858226+074708 28  +141 02
    29242 06 024C   0433 P 20090421194933000 16 15 0859261+074727 28  +127 01
    33490 09 001A   0433 P 20090421175612000 16 15 1116057+050436 28  +086 00
    33490 09 001A   0433 P 20090421180000000 16 15 1119532+050128 28  +085 01
    33490 09 001A   0433 P 20090421180606000 16 15 1125598+045603 28  +080 05
    90020 04 539A   0433 P 20090421204426000 16 15 1016143+101153 38  +138 04
    90020 04 539A   0433 P 20090421204835000 16 15 1023592+130703 18  +137 01
    90020 04 539A   0433 P 20090421204955000 16 15 1026180+140048 68  +130 04
    90020 04 539A   0433 P 20090421205117000 16 15 1028316+145103 38  +127 04
    90020 04 539A   0433 P 20090421205210000 16 15 1029555+152306 68  +132 04
    96060 96 560A   0433 P 20090421193220000 16 15 0926272+152050 58  +133 04
    96060 96 560A   0433 P 20090421193310000 16 15 0927213+151543 38  +152 07
    96060 96 560A   0433 P 20090421193416000 16 25 0928530+150920 19
    96060 96 560A   0433 P 20090421193813000 16 25 0932725+144630 79  +151 53
    96060 96 560A   0433 P 20090421193900000 16 15 0933346+144210 28  +104 00
    
    
    Strays seen:
    --------------
    SL-12 R/B(2) range 39620 kms
    19076 88 034D   0433 P 20090421185254000 56 15 1408011+051712 39  +130 05
    MOLNIYA 1-29 variable, range 12240 kms
    07780 75 036A   0433 P 20090421182535000 56 15 1328273+082940 39  +090 05
    IUS R/B(1) range 26790 kms, steady
    21640 91 054C   0433 P 20090421214450000 56 15 1241333-114939 39  +105 05
    
    Notes:
    ---------
    (1) Another evening with pathetic conditions. Still trying to sort out
        software and new equipment but slowly coming right.
    
    Cheers
    Greg
    
    
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