[Fwd: an unusual observation]

Douglas Currie (currie@nscpmail.physics.umd.edu)
Sat, 02 Aug 1997 23:03:30 -0300

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Message-ID: <33E3E473.B9C0184D@hubble.physics.umd.edu>
Date: Sat, 02 Aug 1997 22:52:52 -0300
From: Douglas Currie <currie@hubble.physics.umd.edu>
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To: Johannes Mueller <Joh_Mueller@compuserve.com>
Subject: Re: an unusual observation
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Johannes Mueller wrote:

> Hello everybody,
> on 29 July 1997 at 20:44 UTC my friend Josef Mueller and I made an
> unusual observation

> The object ... COSPAR 86061A (EGP).  also called"Ajisai"

> We wonder if somebody else has made similar observations of satellites
> with retroreflectors and if our explanation appears plausible. It
> would also be interesting to know if such satellites are still in use
> by laser ranging stations so that one might be able to see a
> reflected laser beam.
> On behalf of the "team"
> Johannes Mueller



>  Ajisai is a Japanese geodetic satellite, which is currently used for
> both laser ranging, and visual geodetic observation by many
> countries(in roughly the same manner as your observations).  It has a
> large number of retro-reflectors and also a large number of spherical
> mirrors.  You saw the reflections from the latter.   We have used a
> high speed photometer to observe the solar reflections from both the
> solar mirrors and the Fresnel reflections from the retro-reflectors
> (see web page below).
>  Pictures of the satellite before launch may be found at various web
> sites operated by groups involved in satellite laser ranging:
> http://www.auslig.gov.au/geodesy/ajisai.htm
> http://yyy.tksc.nasda.go.jp/Home/This/This-e/egs_e.html
> http://cddis.gsfc.nasa.gov/920_1/AJISAI.html
> http://www-csbe.atsc.allied.com/slr/ajisai.htm
>  Discussion of the geodetic applications of the Japanese may be found
> at the geodetic agency of the Japanese government (GSI) on the
> following web page
> http://www.gsi-mc.go.jp/BULLETIN/vol-41/kokusai.html#1
>  We have observed the geodetic satellite LAGEOS in a similar manner to
> determine the orientation of the spin axis.  This information is
> critical to to determine the magnitude of the photon thrust, an
> important force in the analysis of LAGEOS.  Several member of SeeSat
> have contributed observations of the LAGEOS flashes for this
> analysis.  This is described in our (still under construction) web
> page listed below.
> Doug Currie

Douglas G. Currie      currie@hubble.physics.umd.edu
Astro-Metrology Group Office Voice (301) 405 6046
Department of Physics Office FAX     (301) 314 9525
University of Maryland Home Voice    (301) 384 6602
College Park, MD 20742 Home FAX (301) 384 5329