Re: I like ID'ing unknowns

From: Robert Holdsworth (
Date: Mon Dec 22 2003 - 12:26:29 EST

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    I think to make any case for continuing TLEs we need to be realistic and
    make it on the basis of what essential purposes it serves.
    We may be interested and enjoy watching Iridium flares - I certainly do and
    would be very disappointed to lose such predictions- but is that going to
    convince those responsible that it is of such scientific or strategic
    importance that the TLEs need to continue to be available, bearing in mind
    that the reasons for dispensing with them are presumably strategic in the
    context of recent world events?
    I suggest we concentrate on making a case based on considerations of reasons
    why maintenance of TLE distribution is of scientific and strategic
    One that springs to mind is the history of Columbia where expert observation
    proved invaluable -  yes we have things like J-PASS but the email
    predictions I get from NASA do not even have our daylight saving correct-
    they show the same dates for changes as Australia's and we change on
    different days!  To be sure of accurate and up to date tracking of shuttles
    and the ISS we need to have up to date TLEs,  and it is also relevant to the
    amateur radio projects which are an integral part of the ISS program.
    Maybe the issue of decay prediction and observation might be another issue
    on which a case could be made?  Also if there is any external value to the
    observation of unknowns and recovery of "missing" satellites this could help
    our case.
    I don't profess expertise on this subject but I put these thoughts out for
    consideration and intelligent discussion (of which there has already been a
    lot on the subject!)
    Robert Holdsworth
    New Zealand
    > I was able to id and unknown in FOV of #26906 at 23.45.03 UTC as Cosmos
    > #17359. It was a first time sighting for me on the Cosmos. I used IDSat,
    > ObsReduce, Skymap, and Kevin Fetter's satellite.tle . Being able to id
    > unknowns has always been a fun part of this hobby. How will I continue to
    > sats if someone's alldat.tle file is not available? Also just sighting
    > for the 1st time has been an objective of mine. The Iridiums also need to
    > kept track of to continue flare predictions. I do hope there is a solution
    > if the tle's from OIG become unavailable.
    > Lat 39.4707 Lon -79.3388  Alt 2573 ft  -5 UTC
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