Obs 17th and 21 March 2005

From: Greg Roberts (grr@iafrica.com)
Date: Tue Mar 22 2005 - 10:41:23 EST

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    Observations 17th and 21st March 2005:
    ----------------------------------------------
    
    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.
    
    48 frame integration mode normally , exposure is then 0.96 seconds
    per displayed image.
    
    Site 0433 : Longitude 18.51294 deg East, Latitude  33.94058 deg S,
    Elevation 10 metres - situated in Pinelands (Cape Town), South Africa
    
    
    Observations 17 March 2005  200mm lens, fov 1.8 x 1.3 deg approx.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    90005 99 804A   0433 P 20050317175003000 56 15 0813116+131524 39
    90005 99 804A   0433 P 20050317190151000 56 15 0922097+115415 39
    90013 03 564A   0433 P 20050317175116500 56 15 0839349+121406 39
    27168 02 001A   0433 P 20050317175503000 56 15 0543599+071739 39
    27168 02 001A   0433 P 20050317191032000 56 15 0659365+064155 39
    
    Observations 21 March 2005 85mm f/2 lens , fov  4.1 x 3.2 degrees
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    21798 91 082A   0433 P 20050321173412100 56 15 1428364-664544 39
    21798 91 082A   0433 P 20050321173516100 56 15 1236255-671422 39
    24753 97 012A   0433 P 20050321173631600 56 15 0826162+271550 39
    26906 01 040B   0433 P 20050321174152400 56 15 0131442-365100 39
    26906 01 040B   0433 P 20050321174309900 56 15 0103574-520620 39
    23533 95 015A   0433 P 20050321174427100 56 15 1703155-731718 39
    23533 95 015A   0433 P 20050321174521800 56 15 1618480-804724 39
    23533 95 015A   0433 P 20050321174738100 56 15 0612162-603630 39
    11389 79 050A   0433 P 20050321175000800 56 15 1409176-481435 39
    11389 79 050A   0433 P 20050321175049300 56 15 1327492-445520 39
    11389 79 050A   0433 P 20050321175242500 56 15 1149353-273704 39
    
    Observations 21 March 2005 85mm lens now f/2.8, fov 4.1 x 3.2 deg
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    26907 01 004C   0433 P 20050321180139000 56 15 0317270+024405 39
    26907 01 004C   0433 P 20050321180251200 56 15 0321019-092416 39
    26907 01 004C   0433 P 20050321180438700 56 15 0321391-334900 39
    26905 01 004A   0433 P 20050321180139000 56 15 0318511+034950 39
    26905 01 004A   0433 P 20050321180251200 56 15 0322304-080251 39
    26905 01 004A   0433 P 20050321180438700 56 15 0324102-320800 39
    09415 76 091A   0433 P 20050321181332300 56 15 0152472-165506 39
    09415 76 091A   0433 P 20050321181422700 56 15 0125426-242717 39
    19460 88 078A   0433 P 20050321181515400 56 15 1309266-583045 39
    19460 88 078A   0433 P 20050321181559600 56 15 1418517-624151 39
    23937 96 029F   0433 P 20050321181932700 56 15 1110426-213705 39
    23937 96 029F   0433 P 20050321182032200 56 15 1155237-300448 39
    25615 98 055C   0433 P 20050321182150000 56 15 0144240-324721 39
    25615 98 055C   0433 P 20050321182239900 56 15 0107468-413634 39
    08818 76 038A   0433 P 20050321183102300 56 15 0057229-773511 39
    08818 76 038A   0433 P 20050321183225800 56 15 0632536-810044 39
    08818 76 038A   0433 P 20050321183341600 56 15 0926559-650004 39
    10502 77 112A   0433 P 20050321184455500 56 15 0021597-715953 39
    10502 77 112A   0433 P 20050321184620000 56 15 0411251-812025 39
    10502 77 112A   0433 P 20050321184710900 56 15 0827558-742516 39
    08884 76 038J   0433 P 20050321184813300 56 15 0118596-661330 39
    08884 76 038J   0433 P 20050321184911900 56 15 0230306-692345 39
    08835 76 038C   0433 P 20050321184943500 56 15 0222387-695427 39
    08835 76 038C   0433 P 20050321185057500 56 15 0452533-703225 39
    90020 04 539A   0433 P 20050321185401100 56 15 0907555+093909 39
    90020 04 539A   0433 P 20050321185522100 56 15 0916153+064657 39
    90020 04 539A   0433 P 20050321185726900 56 15 0931177+014248 39
    17997 87 043A   0433 P 20050321185954900 56 15 0209116-310927 39
    17997 87 043A   0433 P 20050321190102900 56 15 0255209-235819 39
    90013 03 564A   0433 P 20050321193702400 56 15 1042065+092332 39
    27168 02 001A   0433 P 20050321194134000 56 15 0746426+061555 39
    
    Notes:
    --------
    (1) Conditions on 17 March very poor with much cirrus and cloud.
    
    (2) Conditions on 21 March difficult due to bright moon. I initially
        started with the lens full open at f/2 but image quality was
        very poor and very bright background which "washed out" the stars.
        Changing the f/stop to f/2.8 improved matters quite considerably
        but cut down the sensitivity which did not prove to be a problem
        as all satellites attempted were tracked okay. However observing
        with the moon between first quarter and full is a real pain with
        glare etc making tracking difficult.
    
    (3) Position for TIPS is centre of tether - was very easy to see the
        entire tether for portion of pass tracked.
    
    (3) Still to report:(tomorrow-all being well!)
    
        NOSS 2-1 triplet
        DMSP 5D-2 S-14 #24753
        NOSS 6 (F) #14795
        NOSS 3-2 duo
        USA 40 rocket
        NOSS 1 (D) #08836
        DMSP B5D1-4  #11389
        MILSTAR 3 # 25724
        USA 32 #19460
        90025
        NOSS 1 (A)
        NOSS 3-2 rocket
    
    (4) I will probably use the 85mm lens for tracking of LEO objects. It
        has a large field of view and the optics are of reasonable quality
        although it looks like I cannot use it at f/2 due to my bright sky.
    
        The 200mm lens performs well, reaching almost magnitude 13 when no
        moon around but field of view is too narrow for LEO tracking if
        elements uncertain or old.
    
    (5) Ive realised that my geostationary project needs a large aperture to
        hope to see most reasonably sized objects - around magnitude +16 or
        so, so work has started on constructing a mounting for my 11.5 inch
        f/5 mirror which has not seen starlight for about 40 years. As I do not 
        want to spend money on this at this stage it is  being constructed out of 
        items lying around - ie in my "junk box". As this is hard physical work
        - for which I was not designed - this project may take a while to 
        complete :-)) 
    
    Cheers
    Greg
    
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