Re: calculating latitude/longitude from TLE

From: Tony Beresford (
Date: Sun Dec 01 2002 - 22:44:06 EST

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    At 11:04 2/12/02, Chris Schulz wrote:
    >I would like to calculate the lat/lon of orbiting bodies from TLE's. Can someone point me in the right direction to find a formula for achieving this?
    Chris, the problem divides into 2 parts. The easy bit is converting
    satellite position into latitude, longitude and height. This is covered
    in books on orbits, like "fundamentals of Astrodynamics" by
    Bate, Mueller and White, a Dover book, available from amazon.
    The more difficult part is the relatively complicated procedure
    converting from TLEs to the satellite position. This is because
    TLEs are NOT Osculating elements but the result of modifying
    the elements to enable less calculation to be done to get
    a usefully accurate position. You will find the procedure
    discussed in a report, a copy of which is avalable in the
    documenation section of TS Kelso's website ( ) .
    There you will also find text of articles  Prof. Kelso wrote on
    how to use TLEs.
    Mike McCants has made available a DOS
    programme which calculates latitude and longitude from the TLE, but only as code.
    This and much other stuff is at
    TS Kelso makes avalable the source code ( in PASCAL ) for his startrack
    programme , which has a menu option for calculating latitude and longitude.
    Tony Beresford
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