Optical 05 Sept 2008

From: Greg Roberts (grr@telkomsa.net)
Date: Sat Sep 06 2008 - 10:20:59 UTC

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    Observations 05 Sept 2008 
    -------------------------------
    
    Cosatrak 1 (Computerised satellite Tracking System).
    Camera mount now carries two systems that can be operated 
    together as two totally different sytems and computers used.
    Generally the DSI Pro II camera will be used for high altitude
    slow moving objects. Tests seem to indicate that its sesnitivity
    is comparable to the MINTRON ( possibly better) but as its not
    possible (?) to time stamp to better than 1 second accuracy the 
    time resolution is not good enough for LEO objects. 
    
    (1) MINTRON low light level CCD surveillance camera (0.005 
    lux typical in non integration mode) and 0.00005 lux in STARLIGHT 
    mode with 128 frame integration.
    Used with 135mm focal length f/2.8 lens,integrating for 128 frames 
    which is equivalent to a max exposure of 2.56 seconds maximum 
    per image. Field of view 2.7 x 2.1 degrees.
    Individual frames are video time stamped with GPS derived signal.
    
    (2)Meade DSI Pro II Monochrome CCD camera without filters.
    using integration times of 20 sec min to 60 seconds maximum
    depending on brightness of sky in particular area.No image
    processing done but dark field applied.
    Used with 200mm focal length f/2.8 Nikkon telephoto lens,
    field of view 1.88 x 1.40 degrees. Can get to magnitude 13
    or so in less than 20 seconds exposure.
    Exposure time to nearest second inserted into image FITS header 
    from PC clock which is automatically checked every minute against 
    GPS signal. 
    
    Site 0433 : Longitude 18.51294 deg East, Latitude  33.94058 deg S,
    Elevation 10 metres-situated in Pinelands (Cape Town),South Africa
    
    
     Conditions quite good for a change!!
    
                           Shadow entry observations 
                           ----------------------------------
     all times UT(HH.MM.SS), common name, Cospar designation, catalog number
                                 
      17:54:41    INTELSAT 709  96035A   23915
      18:03:42    INSAT 4A      05049A   28911   Note 1
      18:17:04    EXPRESS AM2   05010A   28629
      18:23:36    THAICOM 2     94065B   23314   Note 2
                  THAICOM 5     06020B   29163   Note 2
      18:29:30    CTDRS         08019A   32779
      18:36:29    ABS 1         99053A   25924
      18:39:41    INSAT 3C      02002A   27298   Note 3
      18:40:04    INSAT 4CR     07037A   32050   Note 3
      18:40:49    GSAT 3        04036A   28417   Note 3
      18:41:11    KALPANA 1     02043A   27525   Note 3
      18:49:23    INTELSAT 4    95040A   23636
      18:52:13    UFO-F11       03057A   28117   Note 4
      18:54:42    EUTELSAT W5   02051A   27554
      18:56:49    RADUGA 1M     07058A   32373
      19:02:12    INTELSAT 7    98052A   25473
      19:02:33    INTELSAT 10   01019A   26766
      19:12:48    INTELSAT 704  95001A   23461
      19:19:58    INMARSAT 3F   96020A   23839
      19:19:58    INTELSAT 906  02041A   27513
      19:30:00    INTELSAT 902  01039A   26900
      19:37:13    INTELSAT 904  02007A   27380
      19:37:35    DSCS3-13      03008A   27691   Note 4
      19:49:10    NSS703        94064A   23305 
      19:52:30    BONUM 1       98068A   25546
      19:56:45    INSAT 3E      03043E   27951
      19:59:14    INTELSAT 702  94034A   23124
      20:06:05    SKYNET 5B     07056B   32294
      20:06:48    EXPRESS AM22  03060A   28134
      20:16:30    INTELSAT 906  95023A   23571
      20:22:32    YAMAL 202     03053A   28089
      20:24:18    GSAT 2        03018A   27807
      20:30:23    SYRACUSE 3A   05041B   28885
      20:38:22    INTELSAT 12   00068A   26590
      20:41:43    THURAYA 2     03026A   27825
      20:47:14    NIGCOMSAT 1   07018A   31395
      20:48:53    TURKSAT 3A    08030B   33056
      20:58:37    EXPRESS AM1   04043A   28463
      21:00:45    HELLAS-SAT1   03020A   27811
      21:12:11    EUTELSAT W4   00028A   26369
      21:12:32    SESAT         00019A   26243
      21:24:09    EBIRD         03043A   27948
      21:24:12    INTELSAT 802  97031A   24846
      21:30:26    TURKSAT 1C    96040B   23949
      21:30:47    SIRIUS 2      97071A   25049
      21:35:03    ARABSAT 2B    96063A   24652
      21:40:03    XTAR-EUR      05005A   28542
      21:42:32    EUROBIRD      01011A   26719
      21:43:36    ASTRA GROUPING                 Note 5
      21:43:57    ASTRA GROUPING                 Note 5
      21:51:39    INTELSAT 5    97046A   24916
      21:52:43    ARABSAT 4B    06051A   29526   Note 6
      21:52:43    ARABSAT 3A    99009A   25638   Note 6
      21:52:43    BADR 6        08034B   24916   Note 6 
      21:54:08    HOTBIRD 5     98057A   25495
      21:56:58    INMARSAT-3F5  98006B   25153
      22:02:39    ASTRA 1E      95055A   23686
      22:02:39    ASTRA 3A      02015B   27400
      
     ==============================================================
     NOTES:
    
      1 :  SPACETRACK has 3 satellites here, only one seen
    
      2 :  SPACETRACK has 2 satellites here, only one seen
    
      3 :  SPACETRACK has 4 satellites here but unable to determine
                        which is which of the 4 seen.
                        
      4 :  From CLASSIFIED.TLE
    
      5 :  Bit difficult to decide which is which as SPACETRACK 
           predicted positions do not match very well. The satellites
           are: 
              98050A  25462
              00054A  26494
              00081A  26638
              01025A  26853
              
     6 :  Close grouping so not 100% sure which is which from 
          SPACETRACK predictions.         
                 
       
     7 : First two satellites done with MINTRON video camera but then
         switched over to using the DSI Pro 2 camera which gave much 
         better images and fainter penetration. The limiting star 
         background was about magnitude 12 to 13 andthe times given are
         when the satellite could last positively be seen at around
         magnitude 12 as it faded into shadow entry. Times should be
         accurate to within about 10 seconds,
         
     8 : Most number of geosats seen in the field of view (1.87 x 1.39
         degrees) was 5.
         
    Cheers
    Greg     
    
    
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