re: TiPS's NORAD#

Sat, 24 May 97 17:45:16 PDT

Alphonse asked...
>Who knows why gives
>00006 instead of 23937 as NORAD# ?
>My pleasure, avec plaisir,  Alphonse

The TiPS website has a link to their e-mail address at, so I asked this same question a few
weeks ago and got back this reply...

>   On the NORAD number being 00006, that is an artifact of the
>procedure we use to get the elements onto the web page.  We get the
>elements from Naval Space Command in a 1-line element set then run a
>conversion program to generate the 2-line sets.  The 1-line format only
>has 2 digits available to Satellite ID's, and for reasons unknown, TiPS
>shows up as 06.  There also is (or was, I've lost track) a security issue
>concerning the official ID and how that relates back to the host vehicle.
>By leaving the 06, we've not had to worry about that.  I've not heard
>anything of the number being 23937, the only other two ID number's I've
>heard of are in the US Space Command analyst set, and they are 86399 for
>Norton and 86398 for Ralph.  I'm not sure exactly why US Space Command
>chose to implement two ID numbers, though might speculate that they were
>planning on the tether breaking.

The TiPS personnel at the Navy Research Lab are eager to hear from
TiPS observers.  Here's another snippet of e-mail I received from
them regarding the differences between the elements published at
thier website vs. the elements available elsewhere...

>...I'm not surprised that there's a difference between ours
>and theirs, a large area of our research on this project involves
>improving the operational tracking techniques of tethered satellites.
>The elements we use are created from observations of one mass or the
>other, neither of which are technically in an orbit.  Is easy to
>see how this creates noisy elements with plenty of room for improvement.
> Also wanted to ask you to please let us know if you notice anything
>unusual with TiPS, including not being able to find it when you think
>you should.  We've been thinking about how we'd know when the tether is
>finally cut, and may very well first hear about it from observers such
>as yourself.  Also, if you're in touch with others that regularly
>observe TiPS, we'd appreciate hearing from them also if they notice
>anything unusual going on with the tether.

 Craig Cholar    3432P@VM1.CC.NPS.NAVY.MIL
 Marina, California
 36 41' 10.3" N,  121 48' 17.9" W     (+36.6862, -121.8050)      UTC -7