Superbird A flash windows

6 Feb 1997 19:33:56 -0800

I believe I've successfully written a program to plot the ground track of a
rotating satellite's specular reflection.  I've settled on a rotation axis for
Superbird A of RA 12h 46m 54s, Dec 14d 31' 23", and a cone half-angle of 58.47
degrees.  The tracks of the specular point across the earth's surface are VERY

Some predictions for Friday evening, February 7th:

Ron Lee:  Your flash window is centered around 6:32pm MST

Paul Maley (Houston):  Flash window will be very similar to Ron's,
but one minute earlier (7:31pm CST).

California is kind of on the edge -- flashes occur too close to sunset I
imagine.  Flashes in SoCal will be centered around 5:29pm PST.

Alabama/Florida:  8:35pm EST.
Chicago area:  7:39pm CST.
Washington D.C.:  8:41pm EST.
Toronto/Buffalo:  8:42pm EST.
New York City:  8:43pm EST.
Boston: 8:45pm EST.

The duration of flashing depends on the location; I haven't yet solved this
aspect of the problem, but suffice it to say that flash periods will last
longer on the east coast than on the west coast, and the further south you
are, the better.  Right now, Florida should have the longest window of flashes
in the U.S.    --Rob