Optical 31 Dec 2012

From: Greg Roberts (grr@telkomsa.net)
Date: Tue Jan 01 2013 - 13:59:02 UTC

  • Next message: Tony Beresford: "satobs jan01 @8597"

    Observations 31 Dec 2012
    -------------------------------------
    
    Cosatrak 1 (Computerised satellite Tracking System).
    
    MINTRON low light level CCD surveillance camera (0.005 
    lux typical in non integration mode) and 0.00005 lux in STARLIGHT 
    mode with 128 frame integration.)
    Used with 75mm focal length f/2.8 lens. Field of view 
    4.3 x 3.4 degrees.
    
    Individual frames are video time stamped with GPS derived signal.
    Images processed and measured manually.
    
    Site 0433 : Longitude 18.51294 deg East, Latitude -33.94058 deg,
    Elevation 10 metres-situated in Pinelands (Cape Town),South Africa
    
    FOR CLASSFD.TLE:
    -----------------------------
    20642 90 050E   0433 F 20121231193249100 17 15 2117127-752513 39 
    20642 90 050E   0433 F 20121231193357900 17 15 0210412-760017 39 
    20642 90 050E   0433 F 20121231193433100 17 15 0400144-664603 39 
    20692 90 050D   0433 F 20121231193033100 17 15 2058261-735546 39               
    20692 90 050D   0433 F 20121231193120800 17 15 2331051-774721 39               
    20692 90 050D   0433 F 20121231193203600 17 15 0242105-732555 39               
    28538 05 004B   0433 F 20121231191652100 17 15 1539255-743413 39 
    35937 09 052A   0433 F 20121231192424800 17 15 0918353-431721 39               
    35937 09 052A   0433 F 20121231192457600 17 15 0913422-383713 39               
    35937 09 052A   0433 F 20121231192600900 17 15 0907547-300718 39               
    38528 12 034A   0433 F 20121231193739800 17 15 0554128+072526 39               
    
    NOTES:
    -----------
    (1) Basically testing out hardware/software to improve video 
        quality capture - purely for the North Korean satellites.
        Recorded quality is now as good as the original "live" 
        images. Many thanks to Scott Tilley for recommending the 
        software PICvideo - it does indeed work.
    
    (2) The lens used last night was ****. Whilst image quality was
        good the image scale was anything but constant across the 
        field - in fact I found it impossible to match stars 100%
        across the entire field of view so this lens will be added to
        the pile of U/S lenses.
    
    (3) The rotation rate of the North Korean satellite appears to be
        slowly decreasing but requires further observations to 
        confirm - hopefully in the next two-three days. During the pass
        on 30th December it produced a flash that was around +0 or +1
        magnitude, followed by a +3 flash about 8.6 seconds later. I
        suspect these were from opposite sides of the s/c ( but could 
        be wrong) - wonder what could produce such bright flashes ?
        At low elevations the satellite flashes about once every 17 
        seconds and as elevation increases one starts to see flashes
        every 8.5 seconds and at high elevations there appear to be 
        flashes every 4.4 seconds or so.
    
    
    Happy New Year to everyone !
                  
    Cheers
    Greg
    
    
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