From: Greg Roberts (grr@iafrica.com)
Date: Thu Jan 13 2005 - 11:08:36 EST

  • Next message: Greg Roberts: "Obs 11 Jan 2005 Part 2"

    Re: Elements supply situation.
    Now we finally know (?) whats going to happen after 31 March 2005
    but confusion still reigns in my mind.
    As I understand it one may register and obtain elements subject
    to the proviso that one does not distribute the elements obtained
    or place them on websites etc. 
    However there does not appear to be a restriction on observing
    the satellites, getting positions and generating our own elements 
    which we may then distribute and this is something that cannot be
    prevented as there is a world outside the United States that is not
    answerable to the United States.
    Suppose a satellite becomes "lost" to the general community who 
    rely on the elements generated by amateurs - there is no restriction
    for registered users to use official elements and obtain new positions 
    and distribute such so the amateur derived orbit may then be updated. 
    Similarly, if Chris (or any other source ) gets permission to use 
    elements to generate predictions for Heavens-Above, these predictions
    /observations can be used to correct the amateur derived orbit.
    Im afraid that the "logic" re the restrictions escapes me. It means
    extra work for the amateur community but is not insurmountable.
    If Chris is unable to get permission for Heavens-Above I suggest that
    the amateur community maintain our own elements for satellites that
    appear in VISUAL.TLE and MCCANTS.TLE ( there is quite a lot of overlap
    but its less than about 1700 satellites) and that Chris be "allowed"
    to use them. I feel that it is important that elements are freely
    available otherwise we will have no new observers and we will all
    eventually die out and the hobby disappear.
    Just my 1 cents worth - ( in South Africa thats not worth much!)
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