PAN probably found

From: Ted Molczan (ssl3molcz@rogers.com)
Date: Mon Sep 21 2009 - 04:18:32 UTC

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    As Greg Roberts reported earlier, it appears that PAN has been found, first
    reported as an optical UNID by Ian Roberts, of South Africa, (no relation to
    Greg), on Sep 18 UTC, followed-up by Greg on Sep 20 UTC, with radio and optical
    observations:
    
    http://satobs.org/seesat/Sep-2009/0194.html
    
    This prompted Peter Wakelin to review an UNID he observed on Sep 16 UTC, which
    he sent off-list:
    
    990000020180909162041546   01   12224737  -07167   2  5
    990000020180909162043186   01   12224877  -07165   2  5
    990000020180909162045526   01   12225135  -07164   2  5
    990000020180909162052491   01   12225828  -07165   2  5
    
    I could not fit an orbit across all of the observations of Sep 16-20, most
    likely due to orbital manoeuvres in the interim. 
    
    Peter's and Ian's observations place the object near 33.5 E on Sep 18, with a
    mean motion of about 1.0046 rev/d, equivalent to an eastward drift of 0.681
    deg/d. However, the fit is not very good, so it had likely manoeuvred in the
    interim.
    
    Ian and Greg's observations place the object near 34.3 E on Sep 20, drifting
    east 0.39 deg/d:
    
    PAN                                                  35747 X 35766 km
    1 35815U 09047A   09263.67944237  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    07
    2 35815   0.0737 303.5812 0002232 157.7052 177.4162  1.00382354    03
    Arc 20090918.88-0920.83 WRMS resid 0.004 totl 0.003 xtrk
    
    It could already have been synchronous by the time Greg observed it, in which
    case it is near 34.5 E, on Sep 20:
    
    PAN                                                  35770 X 35804 km
    1 35815U 09047A   09263.66978197  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    08
    2 35815   0.0694 302.2085 0004036  39.6524 293.4009  1.00274000    06
    Arc 20090920.73-0920.83 WRMS resid 0.004 totl 0.003 xtrk
    
    Peter hoped to observe it tonight, despite a poor sky, so there may be
    additional data by morning.
    
    It is interesting to note that PAN is near the longitude of AMC-14, a commercial
    communications satellite, that was stranded in a useless orbit early last year,
    as the result of a launch mishap. It was quickly purchased from the insurer by
    the U.S. government, and over a period of many months, it was manoeuvred into a
    highly inclined orbit, synchronous orbit. Does anyone know which agency of the
    U.S. Government purchased it, or owns it? I have seen references to DoD, but I
    am uncertain of their accuracy.
    
    Ted Molczan
    
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