Obs 19 Feb 2006

From: Greg Roberts (grr@iafrica.com)
Date: Mon Feb 20 2006 - 08:38:38 EST

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    Observations 19 Feb 2006:
    -------------------------------
    
    Cosatrak 1 (Computerised satellite Tracking System).
    MINTRON low light level CCD surveillance camera (0.005 lux typical
    in non integration mode) and 0.00005 lux in STARLIGHT mode with 128
    frame integration.
    
    Used with 145mm focal length f/2.5 lens,integrating for 64 frames
    which is equivalent to an exposure of 1.28 seconds per image.
    
    Site 0433 : Longitude 18.51294 deg East, Latitude  33.94058 deg S,
    Elevation 10 metres - situated in Pinelands (Cape Town), South Africa
    
    
    For CLASSFD.TLE:
    ------------------------
    
    28646 05 016A   0433 G 20060219181504100 56 15 2326480-503247 39  +035 05
    28646 05 016A   0433 G 20060219181644600 56 15 0210056-475825 39  +030 05
    28646 05 016A   0433 G 20060219181844200 56 15 0547542-075539 39  +025 05
    23937 96 029F   0433 G 20060219182447400 56 15 2345404-554358 39  +075 05
    23937 96 029F   0433 G 20060219182841000 56 15 0528568-023717 39  +065 05
    23937 96 029F   0433 G 20060219182951500 56 15 0620393+174839 39  +070 05
    90045 05 862B   0433 G 20060219183238300 56 15 0216194+010314 39  +105 05
    90045 05 862B   0433 G 20060219193629400 56 15 0410280-001034 39  +120 05
    90045 05 862B   0433 G 20060219193851500 56 15 0413563-000921 39  +120 05
    28385 04 034B   0433 G 20060219183818800 56 15 1039156-552739 39  +107 05
    28385 04 034B   0433 G 20060219184034400 56 15 1048160-553511 39  +098 05
    23031 94 017B   0433 G 20060219184929800 56 15 1224238-341450 39  +055 05
    23031 94 017B   0433 G 20060219185003700 56 15 1254209-421958 39  +055 05
    23031 94 017B   0433 G 20060219185100900 56 15 1401082-525248 39  +060 05
    90046 05 864A   0433 G 20060219185900500 56 15 0349475+330726 39  +098 05
    90046 05 864A   0433 G 20060219190122700 56 15 0352189+315942 39  +092 05
    90046 05 864A   0433 G 20060219193923400 56 15 0501439-154229 39  +080 05
    90035 05 625A   0433 G 20060219190359200 56 15 0922416+052224 39  +110 05
    90033 05 558A   0433 G 20060219190929500 56 15 0533426+055442 39  +105 05
    90034 05 592A   0433 G 20060219191641800 56 15 0713066+091853 39  +110 05
    90034 05 592A   0433 G 20060219191847100 56 15 0715141+092008 39  +110 05
    90034 05 592A   0433 G 20060219192120400 56 15 0717481+092141 39  +110 05
    90047 06 521A   0433 G 20060219195459800 56 15 0827100+031840 39  +130 05
    28888 05 042A   0433 G 20060219200311600 56 15 1514176-555708 39  +055 05
    28888 05 042A   0433 G 20060219200421300 56 15 1416424-550840 39  +050 05
    28888 05 042A   0433 G 20060219200520000 56 15 1321229-520706 39  +040 05
    28888 05 042A   0433 G 20060219200604400 56 15 1238548-475027 39  +035 05
    
    
    Stray seen:
    ---------------
    AMS 1 - variable +6/invisible
    09415 76 091A   0433 G 20060219183447300 56 15 0218244+002705 39  +060 05
    SL-8 rocket
    14241 83 079B   0433 G 20060219190149600 56 15 0352454+330335 39  +060 05
    Intelsat 904
    27380 02 007A   0433 G 20060219190359200 56 15 0922589+051854 39  +105 05
    Eutelsat W3A
    28187 04 008A   0433 G 20060219190929500 56 15 0529033+052932 39  +110 05
    SL-8 rocket
    13149 82 037B   0433 G 20060219191033500 56 15 0536079+063046 39  +040 05
    Globalstar M053
    25886 99 043D   0433 G 20060219191038600 56 15 0535525+062611 39  +060 05
    
    
    Notes:
    -------
    
    (1) What looked a good night eventually ended the same as nights for the
        past three-four weeks --- solid cloud about 2-3 hours after sunset
        which forced me to stop. Actually rained later.
    
    (2) #90045 "found" - wasnt lost, must have been too faint last tracking
        session. The first observation at 18h32m38.3s UT was easy and allowed
        me to find the time error in the prediction. The second and third
        observations at 19h36m29.4s and 19h38m51.5s had the satellite very
        faint and I doubt if I would have found it if I had not known what
        the time error was.
    
    (3) #90034 was a fair distance from my predicted position - maybe its
        moving ? ( unless of course I observed the wrong object but this was
        the only satellite in the area.)
    
    (4) #90047 - could not see it on the monitor but had the mount tracking
        on the predicted position and integrated a large number of frames
        which easily showed the satellite at about magnitude +13. Range was
        33,791 kilometres.
    
    (5) USA 188 tracked through heavy cloud after which I gave up.
    
    (6) Changed the MINTRON integration to 64 frames instead of the usual
        128 frames,effectively halving the exposure. With the 2.56 sec
        exposure trails on fast moving objects like TIPS and other high
        elevation low LEO orbits were rather long which reduced number of
        possible positions. The change in integration change did not seem
        to have affected the magnitude penetration - it should!
    
    (7) As usual TIPS position refers to centre of the tether.
    
    (8) Next tracking session 22/23 Feb - weather permitting!
    
    Cheers
    Greg
    
    
    
    
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