International Designation and Year 2000

Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Sat, 28 Sep 1996 14:08:25 -0500

Alphonse Pouplier wrote some questions regarding the International 
Designation format, mainly that people are using different formats:

>Date: Sat, 28 Sep 1996 15:20:59 +0200 (MET DST)
>From: Alphonse.pouplier@ping.be (Alphonse Pouplier)
>Subject: International designation
   <...>
>With the following example:
>ALOUETTE 1       0.9  1.1  0.0  8.2
>1 00424U 62B-A  1 90 25.21309753  .00000220  00000-0  25410-3 0  2561
   <...>
>But, in a recent file of Ted:
>Alouette 1       0.9  1.1  0.0  8.2
>1 00424U 62049  A 96263.50532114  .00000066  00000-0  78220-4 0  2299
   <...>
>In a file of Dave Ransoom:
><...>" International Identification (1995 007 A).
>
>In a file of Ted:
>99- 23 B is the Group's preferred format for the International Designation
   <...>

I try to use both NORAD# and ID# together; I'm always including ID# in
my Quicksat predictions.  (But there's still something to say for 
popular names; although they're harder to keep coordinated, they're
much easier to remember -- for most people anyway.)

My (first) question regarding the International Designation format is,
how will it be handled beginning 1 Jan. 2000?  Won't it become almost 
a necessity to use all four digits of the year?

...  Hmmm.  Now that I'm thinking about it, what about the date format 
in line 1 of TLE sets?  ...  And how will that affect all of the old
elsets that are being considered for the worldwide elsets archive(s)?

Maybe the "sky-is-falling" alarmists have a point about the year 2000
and computer software problems....  But probably there's a discussion 
and perhaps even a solution of this, as it affects orbital data and
satellite prediction programs, somewhere that I've missed.  But if not, 
maybe it will be resolved at Eurosom 2...?)

...  And then, what about after NORAD #99999 is cataloged in the year 
2xxx...?

  |---------|
  |Plan Ahea|
  |        d|
  |        !|
  |---------|

(From a person who is not very good at all a planning ahead....)

Ed Cannon
ecannon@mail.utexas.edu
Austin, Texas, USA
30.33 N, 97.75 W