USA 129 - new planar search element set

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Sun Dec 28 2003 - 09:34:08 EST

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    For anyone planning to conduct a planar search of the entire orbit of USA 129
    (96072A / 24680), I offer the following search elset:
    USA 129 search  15.0  3.0  0.0  5.3 v
    1 72001U          03354.15413194  .00025000  00000-0  26721-3 0    04
    2 72001  97.7982  53.8575 0523500 115.8208   0.0000 14.78000000    07
    This elset is designed not to be predictive, but to provide an aim-point that is
    about mid way between the likely extremes, so that the object is most likely to
    pass within one's search field of view.
    It assumes a manoeuvre at the perigee mid way between the last sighting and
    first non-sighting, and an apogee mid way between the likely extremes.
    My earlier search orbits spanned the entire likely range of possibilities, based
    on historical data. If it is in any of those orbits, then it should pass within
    about 2 degrees of a planar search based upon the above elset.
    Since there are many objects in similar orbits, it might be best to log all
    likely objects seen, instead of following the first one seen.
    Another useful strategy would be to pre-identify interlopers at all planned
    aim-points. (Another task that could be automated through software. A derivative
    of IDSat, that could process a list of aim-points/times seems like a good
    Happy hunting!
    Ted Molczan
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