Introduction (belated)

Roland Vanderspek (
Wed, 15 Jan 97 17:58:58 EST

Greetings, all!

I've been reading SeeSat-L for a few months now, and contributing a bit,
but the recent rash of introductions from new readers has made me think 
that I should introduce myself, as well.

My name is Roland Vanderspek, and I am on the research staff at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  I worked on the recently
launched-but-not-released HETE payload (launched Nov. 4, 1996 on a
Pegasus XL).

My experience with viewing satellites is not visual, but rather through
an instrument called the Explosive Transient Camera (ETC). The ETC is
an automated instrument, located on Kitt Peak, near Tucson, Arizona: 
its mission is to detect and record images of short-duration optical 
transients, preferably those from astrophysical sources.  Readers of
this list will guess, though, that what the ETC sees most is satellites.  
We see point-like sources, streaks, well-spaced collinear points, and
slowly-moving objects varying in brightness:  all in all, quite a
menagerie.  For us, these observations are noise, and we're most happy
when we can recognize and throw out observations of satellites, but
we haven't been able to do this with 100% effectiveness.  Through this
group, I'm beginning to learn more about new ways of attacking this
problem, but I still hold out little hope that I can identify all my
mystery objects.

I'll go back to my read-only mode now...