RE: Admin: policy for reporting high resolution ground-based imagery of Earth satellites

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Sun Aug 15 2010 - 07:09:09 UTC

  • Next message: Brad Young: "BY Classfd Aug 15"

    Paul Grace wrote:
    > We don't require source data submission for all orbital element 
    > submissions, nor discussion on the technique involved.
    The reliably of the orbits we routinely derive from our observations has been amply demonstrated
    over many years, and I am not aware of any controversy in that regard. Nearly all positional
    observers report their observations via the list, using appropriate standard formats, which include
    estimates of timing and positional accuracy. Orbital element sets derived from observations can
    readily be verified for accuracy, by assembling observations proximate to the epoch of the elements,
    or within the observational arc, if stated.
    When I encounter difficulty with an observation in the course of performing an orbit analysis, I
    know that I can count on the observer to cooperate fully in resolving the issue, even to the point
    of providing the underlying data. It is understood that in challenging an observation, the intent is
    not to embarrass or insult the observer, but a part of the scientific process. 
    When sharing major findings, I make an effort to document the methods and sources, and am prepared
    to share data. See for example, Section 2.2 of the following, in which I offered the key tables used
    to perform the analysis, upon request:
    In contrast, ground-based high-resolution imaging of satellites remains fairly early in its
    development stage, and there has been controversy regarding the reliability of some of the results.
    Development of appropriate reporting standards, and a willingness to share complete raw data, would
    help to resolve such concerns and improve confidence in results. 
    Ted Molczan
    Seesat-l mailing list

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