Glints from 96072A

From: Matson, Robert (
Date: Mon Jul 16 2001 - 14:00:23 PDT

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    Hi All,
    I've crunched some numbers on three observations of bright
    glints from 96072A -- two by myself, and one by Paul Gabriel.
    (Paul's glint observation was during the same pass as the
    first one I observed; due to our very different locations,
    the glints had to have been caused by two different surfaces.)
    I don't have an exact time for my first glint (since it was
    totally unexpected), but the time should be good to +/- 10 seconds.
    My second glint observation, 2 days later and VERY bright at at
    least magnitude -2, was timed to within 1 second -- plenty
    accurate for our purposes.  If anyone else has some glint
    timings from 96072A, I'd be interested in crunching numbers on
    them as well to see if we get any repeat surfaces.
    Anyway, here's a summary of the LVLH satellite surface normals
    corresponding to the three glints I have so far:
    Date UTC Time Uncert.   Azim   Elev   Observer
    ---- -------- -------  -----  -----  ----------
    7/12 04:16:20 +/- :10  298.3  -30.1  R. Matson
    7/12 04:16:24 +/- :03  283.0  -75.0  P. Gabriel
    7/14 05:00:52 +/- :01  315.8  -50.1  R. Matson
    Of course, the LVLH coordinates only have meaning if the bird
    flies in an LVLH-mode (like Iridium), and unfortunately I suspect
    that it doesn't.  The glints are far too fast to be attributable
    to orbital motion geometry changes alone.  I would guess that
    the satellite is spinning slowly.  (If it was spinning fast, you
    would see at least double flashes.)
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