Obs 20 March 2006 Part 1

From: Greg Roberts (grr@iafrica.com)
Date: Tue Mar 21 2006 - 09:57:28 EST

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    Observations 20 Mar 2006: (Part 1)
    ------------------------------------
    
    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 96 frames
    which is equivalent to an exposure of 1.92 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:
    =====================
    
    25017 97 064A   0433 G 20060320173936900 56 15 0642141+295116 39  +030 05
    25017 97 064A   0433 G 20060320174050400 56 15 0754485+142554 39  +020 05
    25017 97 064A   0433 G 20060320174202900 56 15 0927111-074157 39  +017 05
    05682 71 110E   0433 G 20060320174511700 56 15 1441290-691727 39  +095 05
    05682 71 110E   0433 G 20060320174629800 56 15 1255414-583035 39  +085 05
    05682 71 110E   0433 G 20060320174748800 56 15 1202527-415544 39  +080 05
    05678 71 110A   0433 G 20060320181733700 56 15 1500268-694351 39  +090 05
    05678 71 110A   0433 G 20060320181909700 56 15 1300288-543142 39  +085 05
    05678 71 110A   0433 G 20060320182131100 56 15 1201252-215714 39  +080 05
    90049 05 605C   0433 G 20060320182656800 56 15 0417554+003928 39  +105 05
    05680 71 110C   0433 G 20060320183456000 56 15 0153286-781243 39  +085 05
    05680 71 110C   0433 G 20060320183630000 56 15 0710266-681312 39  +070 05
    05680 71 110C   0433 G 20060320183754600 56 15 0834264-391717 39  +070 05
    28385 04 034B   0433 G 20060320184000600 56 15 1121103-621151 39  +080 05
    28385 04 034B   0433 G 20060320184202900 56 15 1130541-614521 39  +075 05
    28385 04 034B   0433 G 20060320184537100 56 15 1147328-605133 39  +078 05
    90048 05 605B   0433 G 20060320205947300 56 15 0617211+074414 39  +105 05
    90033 05 558A   0433 G 20060320194646500 56 15 0807471+072524 39  +105 05
    90030 05 544A   0433 G 20060320195214300 56 15 1002007+121427 39  +095 05
    20344 89 061D   0433 G 20060320200000600 56 15 0358451-282739 39  +090 05
    20344 89 061D   0433 G 20060320200128900 56 15 0405148-310655 39  +088 05
    20344 89 061D   0433 G 20060320200230900 56 15 0409558-325806 39  +095 05
    90020 04 539A   0433 G 20060320201600200 56 15 0433075-111700 39  +065 05
    90020 04 539A   0433 G 20060320201856900 56 15 0431083-210836 39  +065 05
    90020 04 539A   0433 G 20060320202047200 56 15 0427493-284430 39  +070 05
    90020 04 539A   0433 G 20060320202355200 56 15 0413483-444846 39  +075 05
    90020 04 539A   0433 G 20060320202549800 56 15 0352586-562342 39  +075 05
    90020 04 539A   0433 G 20060320202803400 56 15 0249262-700743 39  +080 05
    90038 05 638B   0433 G 20060320210313300 56 15 1405303+014210 39  +085 05
    90034 05 592A   0433 G 20060320211119700 56 15 1103132+093133 39  +085 05
    90042 05 828A   0433 G 20060320212002500 56 15 1320056+073004 39  +100 05
    90043 05 835A   0433 G 20060320212350800 56 15 0820454+062905 39  +090 05
    90035 05 625A   0433 G 20060320213047300 56 15 1343391+051536 39  +090 05
    27380 02 007A   0433 G 20060320213047300 56 15 1344181+051838 39  +090 05
    90037 05 638A   0433 G 20060320220519400 56 15 1506399+032214 39  +085 05
    90037 05 638A   0433 G 20060320232303000 56 15 1623015-014035 39  +090 05
    27168 02 001A   0433 G 20060320222433000 56 15 1024580+052540 39  +080 05
    90013 03 564A   0433 G 20060320222936400 56 15 1332170+035408 39  +070 05
    90036 05 629A   0433 G 20060320225048600 56 15 1558234+031949 39  +110 05
    
    
    Possible Unknown:
    ==========================
    
    91058 06 079LEO 0433 G 20060320174516000 56 15 1421145-682436 39  +055 05
    91058 06 079LEO 0433 G 20060320174520300 56 15 1424280-680148 39  +055 05
    91058 06 079LEO 0433 G 20060320174524900 56 15 1428019-673620 39  +055 05
    
    
    Notes:
    -------
    
    (1) A rather frustrating night during which I tracked for 8 hours.
    
        The highlight was the recovery of #90020 - the previous element
        set was about 8 months old. I used Mikes INT2 and the satellite
        was running 1min 25 sec late on the INT2 elements.
    
    (2) The lowlights were the failure to see #90045 again - really proving
        a difficult object when at high altitude, and the failure to see
        #90027 - looks like it may have made an orbit change.
    
         However whilst measuring today I noticed that GUIDE gave a slightly
         different track for #90045 to what my prediction program gave -
    enough
         to cause it to pass outside my cameras field of view so this may
    explain
         my failure to see it.
    
         I  have just checked against Mikes HIGHFLY and his prediction matches
         GUIDE so it looks like my prediction program has a problem.  Ive
    never
         suspected this before -- it only used the SGP4 model so maybe it
    really
         does need SDP4 to be added - okay, another job to do! (in the
    meantime
         I will check my predictions against GUIDE and HIGHFLY )
    
    (3) The possible unknown reported above is too bright to be a real
          unknown so is probably something running "off-time".
    
    (4) I attempted to get observations on all the geostationary satellites
         in CLASSFD.TLE and failed  - whilst observing I mistook Eutelsat W5
         for #90031 and when I found a flashing object at the predicted
         position for #90041 I thought I had it. When it came to measuring
         I found that Cosmos 1366 was very close to the predicted position
         of  #90041 and on determining the respective track angles it was
         obvious that it was Cosmos 1366 flashing ( the tracks for the two
         satellites diverged and my object followed the track of  Cosmos 1366)
    
    (5) An attempt to see 69046F failed. This was mainly due to it being
         too faint and secondly the last quarter moon was in the same part
         of the sky so trying to see a moving 12th magnitude object was not
         on. The MINTRON can only spot a moving satellite if its not fainter
         than about magnitude 9 so trying to track a moving 12th magnitude
         object with predictions that may be out a little is an impossible
         task. Once I can get my system to track on an object then its
         possible to see 12th magnitude satellites, provided no moonlight.
    
         Checking against Mikes latest element set for this object (which I
         have just  received)  my predictions  were quite a few minutes out .
    
    (6) #90035 and Intelsat 904 (#27380) were close together so Im not
         100%  sure which is which but I think I am correct in identification.
    
    (7) Tomorrow I hope to report the remaining satellites observed:
    
         USA40 r - second pass
         Noss 5G
         Noss 5D
         Noss 7D
         Noss 7H
         Noss 7E
         Noss 5A
         Tips
    
        plus all the "strays" observed.
    
    (8) I still have to carefully go through the 8hrs recorded DVD's
         to do a thorough check for satellites missed etc (duhhhh....)
    
    Cheers
    Greg
    
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