Impressed by QuickSat

alsobroo@pchost.gentire.com
Tue, 15 Aug 95 12:27: 2 EDT

As a new subscriber, I read some of the recent mail which
mentioned QUICKSAT.  I've tried several prediction programs,
but had never seen this one, so I downloaded it yesterday
and gave it a try.  It ran through my TLE file and produced
an output so quickly that I thought something must be wrong. 
When the output file appeared to look normal, I was sure
that the accuracy couldn't be very good, given the speed
with which the calculations had been completed.  I then ran
the same predictions using TrakStar, which took a much, much
longer time.

Comparing the results, altitude and azimuth predictions were
very close, sometimes differing by a degree, but nothing
that would seem critical.  I selected 5 satellites that I
had never seen before from QuickSat's output.  I then
selected a bright star, using SkyGlobe for Windows, near the
track of each of the 5 satellites and was successful in
observing all 5 satellites.  They appeared on time and very
close to their plotted track.  There was enough haze to make
it difficult to judge the accuracy of the magnitude
estimates, but there were apparently correct, relative
differences in brightness between satellites.

Overall, I'm very surprised by the performance of this tiny
little program.  I would welcome any pointers, or comments,
from experienced QuickSat users.

Two of my targets last night were a matching pair, satellite
and it's booster.  These are always my favorites and this
pair was close together, slightly less than 17 minutes
apart.  Cosmos 2265 (#22875) tracked 3 degrees below Delta
Cyg at 02:17:00 UTC, followed by it's booster (#22876),
which tracked close by (almost occulted) Zeta Her at
02:33:40 UTC on 08/15/95.  My location is 41.0052 north,
81.5333 west, at 290 meters altitude, in the suburbs south
of Akron, Ohio.

John Alsobrook       alsobroo@pchost.gentire.com