Optical 02 Oct 2013 Part 2

From: Greg Roberts (grr@telkomsa.net)
Date: Fri Oct 04 2013 - 12:17:20 UTC

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    Observations 02 OCT 2013 Part 2
    Cosatrak 1 (Computerised satellite Tracking System).
    FLI ML8300M CCD camera with mechanical shutter + Trimble GPS 
    Used with 135mm focal length f/2.8 TAMRON lens.
    Field of view 7.6 x 5.7 degrees.
    Images processed and measured manually.
    In ALL cases exposure was 2 seconds, one being taken roughly
    every second and under GPS time recording.
    Site 0433 : Longitude 18.51294 deg East, Latitude -33.94058 deg,
    Elevation 10 metres-situated in Pinelands (Cape Town),South Africa
    39266 13 055B   0433 F 20131002184936245 55 15 1651142-582150 19               
    39266 13 055B   0433 F 20131002184939298 55 15 1654112-575828 19               
    39266 13 055B   0433 F 20131002184942319 55 15 1656520-573423 19               
    39266 13 055B   0433 F 20131002184945390 55 15 1659451-570924 19               
    39266 13 055B   0433 F 20131002184954517 55 15 1707459-555411 19               
    39266 13 055B   0433 F 20131002184957571 55 15 1710122-552757 19               
    39266 13 055B   0433 F 20131002185008698 55 15 1719278-534746 19 
    39284 13 055T   0433 F 20131002175541002 55 15 2210388+281056 19               
    80002 13 055XXX 0433 F 20131002185119750 55 15 1710072-545122 19               
    80002 13 055XXX 0433 F 20131002185121750 55 15 1710091-545120 19               
    80002 13 055XXX 0433 F 20131002185122804 55 15 1711377-543505 19               
    80002 13 055XXX 0433 F 20131002185124804 55 15 1713141-541726 19               
    (1) Some more results from the FALCON launch. For the present I
        am not reporting identified strays as irrelevant.
    (2) I am using SPACETRACK data downloaded a few hours before I
        did the tracking season. I did not have Tom Kelso's data at
        that time as it arrived whilst I was tracking. I have however
        subsequently added it to my database. I have not yet had time
        to add the elements supplied by Richard Langley.I currently
        am trying to do several things at once, as well as domestic
        matters, so I am simply too piled up with work and now I have 
        a PhD student plying me with questions about his thesis, and
        of course the press, so I dont know whether I am coming or going.
    (3) But here is what I have managed to get done so far. The first 
        object I referred to came from the SPACETRACK data and I 
        understood it was CASSIOPE and the object reported as 39266 
        fitted the predicted track and I was quite happy.
    (4) I then did a few more images from the same FOV and then the
        data from Tom appeared on the program screen showing CASSIOPE 
        in the lead and Dante trailing and all very close spaced. I 
        only saw one object- which I have called DANTE 80002 as it 
        was closed to Toms predictions. However I did not see the 
        other objects from Toms predictions for this "train". The 
        object I called DANTE was only visible on 2 of the 7 images 
        in which it should have been visible. It was on my equipment 
        limit at the time , which in this case was around mag +10 for
        a leo sat. DANTE ( or whatever it was) was variable and only 
        visible in 2 of 7 possible frames. Since the track was so faint
        there are porbably small positional errors for start and end
        of the 2 second trailed exposures.
    (5) So the question now arose that if Tom's CASSIOPE was correct -
        (I have no reason to doubt his data,) what was the object I called
        CASSIOPE at the top of my report ?  I think the answer lies in 
        that my CASSIOPE was about mag +3 and steady so I am now convinced
        that it is in fact the rocket and was SPACETRACKS object B in my
        element set.
    (6) I have still quite a few images to measure that contain images
        so have no idea whats still going to come forth. Fortunately some 
        are easy - why are so many Cosmos satellites at 82-82 degree 
        inclination :-))))   I know the answer so no need for anyone to
        tell me.
    (7) Finally another observation of the object that Mike said is OBJECT T
        and not OBJECT F  - this position was obtained later in the pass
        with the satellite just above my horizon.
    (8) Now back to measuring. I hope some sense can be made out of all this-
        Im reporting whilst still fresh in my mind instead of keeping it all
        for one report by which time I will have forgotten half the details.
    (9) I think tracking classified satellites is a LOT easier - but dare I 
        say Im actually enjoying all this ?
    (10) Keep tuned for the next riviting episode-better than any soap 
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