RE: NOTAMS coordinates

Ted Molczan (
Fri, 20 Dec 1996 18:49:26 -0500

Bruno Tilgner asked:

>For the benefit of those who like me are ignorant about this notation,
>could you please explain what NOTAMS coordinates are?

I was afraid someone would ask! The reason
being that I was not all that certain myself.
I was given the translation some time ago,
but forgot it, and could not find it in my
notes. So, I phoned the same U.S. Coast Guard
station that gave me the data last night, and ...
they had to look it up!

Turns out, it is NOTAM, (the S I added is erroneous) 
which means Notice to AirMen. The NOTAM coordinates 
define a region to be avoided. I imagine that in
the case of a missile launch, it is the area where
booster stages are expected to fall. I recall that
for last July's Titan 4 launch from Cape Canaveral,
I was advised that the NOTAM was simply defined as
a region several miles either side of a line emanating
from the launch site, at a certain azimuth, for some 
distance out to sea. So it appears there are different
ways to specify the information.

I asked the Coast Guard person how they alert boats,
and he told me they issue a BNTM = Broadcast Notice
to Mariners.

That is all I know about it. I am certain that there
are plenty of folks on the list who could elaborate.
My only interest in the data is to compute launch
azimuths of spy sats. Just goes to show how difficult
it is to keep technical information about these launches
completely secret.

Ted Molczan

Thanks in advance!

Bruno Tilgner 48.84N 2.20E UTC+1