DMSP F16 elements

From: Ted Molczan (molczan@rogers.com)
Date: Wed Nov 05 2003 - 20:44:44 EST

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    Elements derived from observation arc 2003 Oct 31 - Nov 05 UTC:
    
    DMSP F16         0.0  0.0  0.0  6.2 v
    1 28054U 03048A   03309.77602995  .00000719  00000-0  38304-3 0    05
    2 28054  98.9237 343.3467 0007163 234.8244 125.2258 14.13385542    04
    
    WRMS residuals = 0.014 deg
    
    For all practical purposes, this hobbyist result is equivalent to USSTRATCOM's
    most recent available elset:
    
    1 28054U 03048A   03308.57256580  .00000792  00000-0  44530-3 0   400
    2 28054  98.9217 342.1417 0007081 225.1728 134.8869 14.13386048  2382
    
    For a more direct comparison, here is the hobbyist elset, propagated to the same
    ascending node as USSTRATCOM's:
    
    1 70000U          03308.57257332  .00000719  00000-0  38304-3 0    06
    2 70000  98.9237 342.1467 0007171 238.2289 121.8184 14.13383812    03
    
    Inclination and RAAN agree to within a few thousandth's of a degree. Periods
    agree to within 0.01 s. Perigee distances agree to 0.06 km.
    
    That binoculars and stopwatch can rival radars is not news. During the first 30
    years of the space age, geophysicists used hobbyist observations alongside those
    of radars and telescopic cameras, to analyze satellite orbit perturbations,
    revealing details of Earth's upper atmosphere and gravity field.
    
    Many of the today's leading observers developed their skills as contributors to
    observing programs sponsored by the
    Optical Tracking Subcommittee of the British National Committee for Space
    Research, and Project Moonwatch of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.
    
    As good as the hobbyist elsets are, great respect is due USSTRATCOM, which
    routinely tracks some 9,000 objects in Earth orbit, and freely shares (most of)
    their orbital elements with the world, via NASA/OIG.
    
    Ted Molczan
    
    
    
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