Re: Finding the size of an orbiting object. RCS VALUES

Date: Sat Jan 04 2003 - 04:16:42 EST

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    Daniel Crawford wrote:
    > If I wanted to know the size of a satellite, rocket or piece of debris,
    > how would I find out?
    For years, the main source for payload and rocket size was the RAE Tables.
    Some other sites now may have size of payload and rocket. 
    I always missed not having any guide to size of debris. Several years ago, I
    discovered that although NASA did not furnish it, Radar Cross Section [RCS],
    was in the "For Official Use Only" Satellite Catalog. The SatCat is what the
    NASA Satellite Situation Report is derived from.
    Since the SatCat was not generally available, I started a campaign, going
    back and forth several times between GSFC and SpaceCommand, to have RCS
    included in the Satellite Situation Report.  Finally, after a few months of
    my effort, the Satellite Situation Report began reporting RCS values for
    debris, and still continues to do so.  While not perfect, these RCS values
    are the only guide to size of debris, the major category of objects in
    Jay Respler
       Satellite Tracker * Early Typewriter Collector
               Freehold, New Jersey
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