Optical 19 June 2007

From: Greg Roberts (grr@telkomsa.net)
Date: Wed Jun 20 2007 - 08:49:13 EDT

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    Observations 19 Jun 2007:
    -------------------------------
    
    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 25mm focal length f/1.4 lens,integrating for 128 frames
    which is equivalent to an exposure of 2.56 seconds per image.
    
    Field of view approximately 14.3 x 11.6 degrees. Faintest star shown
    about magnitude +8.5.
    
    Site 0433 : Longitude 18.51294 deg East, Latitude  33.94058 deg S,
    Elevation 10 metres - situated in Pinelands (Cape Town), South Africa
    
    
    For CLASSIFIED.TLE:
    -----------------------
    
    18025 87 043H   0433 G 20070619172310800 56 15 1210010+200746 39  +070 05
    90060 06 640A   0433 G 20070619172906700 56 15 1210412+163940 39  +061 05
    90060 06 640A   0433 G 20070619172916900 56 15 1233522+160927 39  +057 05
    90060 06 640A   0433 G 20070619172925900 56 15 1254386+153634 39  +058 05
    
    Strays seen:
    ---------------
    OPS 1294  DMSP 5D-2F7   mag +4.5 slow vary
    14506 83 113A   0433 G 20070619164553700 56 15 1214430+154800 39  +045 05
    ETS 7  steady
    25064 97 074B   0433 G 20070619164833300 56 15 1234590+181544 39  +030 05
    CZ-4 DEB  mag +2.5 to invisible variable
    26186 99 057BY  0433 G 20070619165121800 56 15 1203560+172049 39  +025 05
    Timed  mag 4.5 steady
    26998 01 055B   0433 G 20070619165225200 56 15 1203180+141238 39  +045 05
    CZ-4 Rocket body  mag +3 steady
    27432 02 024C   0433 G 20070619165337500 56 15 1220410+130237 39  +030 05
    Atlas Agena D rocket  mag +4 steady
    02144 66 031B   0433 G 20070619165616100 56 15 1218440+125303 39  +040 05
    Cosmos 2401 mag 6.5 variable
    27869 03 037B   0433 G 20070619165925200 56 15 1217040+161514 39  +065 05
    SL-14 Rocket body  mag +7 variable
    11087 78 100D   0433 G 20070619170541900 56 15 1256330+171513 39  +070 05
    Delta 1rocket body  mag +4.5 steady
    10517 77 118B   0433 G 20070619171218500 56 15 1211350+174016 39  +045 05
    SL-8 rocket body  mag +7.5 variable
    20578 90 036B   0433 G 20070619171132700 56 15 1254290+155820 39  +075 05
    SL-18 rocket body  magnitude +5.0 variable
    26703 01 007B   0433 G 20070619172400100 56 15 1225470+153437 39  +050 05
    Cosmos 2327 magnitude 7.0 variable
    23773 96 004A   0433 G 20070619172548900 56 15 1205240+160613 39  +070 05
    Leasat 1 PKM magnitude +4.5 steady
    15390 84 113E   0433 G 20070619172629800 56 15 1234120+112624 39  +045 05
    SL-8 rocket body magnitude +5.0 steady
    04800 70 108B   0433 G 20070619173224400 56 15 1252010+172630 39  +050 05
    Meteor 3-2  magnitude +7.0 steady
    19336 88 064A   0433 G 20070619181613600 56 15 1250500+160657 39  +070 05
    Superbird A geostationary regular flasher period about 20 seconds
    20040 89 041A   0433 G 20070619181651600 56 15 1215020+121034 39  +080 05
    Cosmos 375  magnitude 6.5 variable
    04598 70 091A   0433 G 20070619182740400 56 15 1214520+144152 39  +065 05
    Ariane 5 debrii (SYLDA) mag 6.5 steady, range 9800 kms
    28545 05 005D   0433 G 20070619183002700 56 15 1221470+093301 39  +065 05
    SL-24 rocket magnitude +7.0 steady
    28811 05 031C   0433 G 20070619173752100 56 15 1243100+152257 39  +070 05
    Cosmos 1677 magnitude +5.5 steady
    15986 85 075A   0433 G 20070619174107400 56 15 1212450+164914 39  +055 05
    Iridium 31 magnitude 7.0 variable
    24950 97 051G   0433 G 20070619175941000 56 15 1230340+143912 39  +070 05
    Globalstar MO53 magnitude 6.5 variable
    25886 99 043D   0433 G 20070619180342900 56 15 1230270+111939 39  +065 05
    Thor Delta 1 rocket magnitude +6.0 steady
    12889 81 100C   0433 G 20070619180938800 56 15 1226370+144902 39  +060 05
    Atlas Centaur rocket range 9600 kms variable +6 to inv, slow smooth var.
    10722 78 002B   0433 G 20070619190740300 56 15 1246100+212419 39  +060 05
    Delta 2 rocket body mag 6.5,long period to invisible
    23640 95 041B   0433 G 20070619190926100 56 15 1221410+190916 39  +065 05
    Atlas Cent rocket range 3500km period ~ 19 sec ,reg +5 to +7 - pretty
    12069 80 087B   0433 G 20070619191746500 56 15 1214290+144735 39  +050 05
    
    
    Notes:
    --------
    
    (1) Purpose of evening was to test out a short focal length lens, with
        relatively wide field of view to be used for locating lost or unknown
        satellites. Set on a random position in the sky, in this case
        RA 12h30m Dec +15deg 00m and let CoSaTrak track this position at
        sidereal rate so that stars appeared stationary in the one minute
        summed expsoures taken with SKYPATROL program.
    
    (2) Noss 8(H) positions - fair accuracy - on limit of this system and at
        extreme edge of field.
    
    (3) 90060 seen purely by chance- as luck had it it was passing through
        perigee at a range of 966 kms so was nice and bright. Used SATREC to
        determine astrometric positions so should be relatively accurate.
        SATREC provided the magnitude estimates as well as stating that
        the mean error of positions was about 33 arc seconds and the pixel
        size of the camera was 72 x 68 arc seconds, so achieving half pixel
        accuracy.
    
    (4) Conclusions: This lens, on my system, has no problems seeing satellites
        down to about magnitude 6.7/7-depending on speed of satellite. Mag 7
        or fainter satellites are difficult and could be missed. On account
        of the large field size it is easy to miss slow moving satellites,but,
        using SKYPATROL, all satellites brighter than about magnitude 7 are
        readily obvious, so for reasonably bright satellites it should be
        adequate for finding the brighter lost/unknowns.
    
    
    Cheers
    Greg 
    
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