Official NORAD TiPS Elements now available on the Web.

Ted Molczan (molczan@fox.nstn.ca)
Thu, 24 Oct 1996 20:57:03 -0400

Folks, as you may have noticed, Anthony Beresford has announced that 
TiPS elements are now on the web. Anthony, if you were the one who 
prompted this move, then you have my sincere gratitude!

I composed this before Anthony's post appeared:

Earlier today, I learned that the U.S. Naval Laboratory's TiPS web
page now carries a full archive of official NORAD 2-line TiPS orbital
elements. Look under the "TiPS Data" section of the web page at:  http://hyperspace.nrl.navy.mil/TiPS/

I have been advised that the data will be updated at least several 
times each week.

The data begins with a pre-launch estimate, and there are
daily, sometimes several times daily, updates, through day 96294:

1 00006U 00000  A 96294.59027778 -.00000005  00000 0  -5729-4 0 0000
2 00006  63.4284 207.7925 0009460 350.3853  64.7824 13.63810806 1525

Note that there are no checksums, and the real NORAD/COSPAR 
identifiers have not been included. Also, the orbital decay elements
are not accurate. My Predict database added accurate "smoothed"
decay elements, checksums, and the identifiers used by hobbyist 
trackers:

TiPS             3.5  0.0  0.0  5.6 d
1 23937U 96029  F 96294.59027778  .00000383  00000-0  48090-3 0    06
2 23937  63.4284 207.7925 0009460 350.3853  64.7824 13.63810806 15251

I was interested to compare hobbyist elsets against the NORAD ones, so
I compiled these near-contemporaneous pairs:

1 96290U 96029  ? 96203.14225450  .00000250  00000-0  31455-3 0    06
2 96290  63.4290  89.9941 0003001 264.4275  95.5725 13.63763114    04
1 00006U 00000  A 96203.16666667 0.00000001  00000 0  10654-5 0 0000
2 00006  63.4347  89.9239 0001650 353.1410 126.6568 13.63760161 0278

1 23937U 96029  F 96266.12917814  .00000250  00000-0  31439-3 0    05
2 23937  63.4190 283.1535 0005001 329.1326  30.8674 13.63791809    03
1 00006U 00000  A 96266.52777778 0.00000001  00000 0  14257-5 0 0000
2 00006  63.4280 282.1196 0006108 340.6714 176.3005 13.63790804 1142

Pretty similar, are they not?

Clear skies!
Ted Molczan