AMPTE decayed ? / Old elements

Mon, 19 Feb 1996 19:28:06 +0100 (CET)

A friend of mine is working on data obtained by the IRM-1 satellite, which
was part of the AMPTE-project. IRM-1 was built at our institute (MPE) and
she told me IRM-1 had burnt up in the atmosphere. But in the last Satellite
Situation Report I found this entry:

15200 84-088B  IRM 1 (AMPTE)         FRG  2653.1  27.0 13808   402

The original orbit was one with an apogee of 120000 km and apogee of 560

I intend to ask one of the people here who was involved in the AMPTE-project 
whether it has decayed or not (as soon as the holidays are over), since I
think they should know for sure. 
But when I checked the old SSR's I found the same identical entry for all 
issues of the last year. I have trouble believing the orbit did not change 
during the last year, so my assumption is that Spacecom just doesn't track
this object frequently. Maybe it *did* decay without Spacecom knowing
about it, since they don't track it frequently ??
I could check this if I had access to older SSR's, but they do not seem to
be available electronically before 1993/1994? Can anyone confirm this ?

More generally, I think it would be really interesting to have an archive
of old elements of satellites available electronically. Old elements are very 
useful for research purposes, and I presume Spacecom has them stored
somewhere. Maybe someone who has influence with Spacecom could persuade
them to make old elements available ? 

Maybe Spacecom or OIG are already working on this ?

Anyone know ?

   Bart De Pontieu <>