Possible MUOS 5 observations

From: Marco Langbroek via Seesat-l <seesat-l_at_satobs.org>
Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2016 23:29:38 +0200
Hi all,

The last two nights, Paul Camilleri and I have observed, from Australia and the 
Netherlands, an object in GTO with a marked brightness variation. We suspect it 
is MUOS 5.

Observations and approximate elements below:

41622 16 041A   8600 G 20160703105516000 18 75 1805180-030630 56
41622 16 041A   4353 F 20160704234042250 17 75 2255595-047130 56
41622 16 041A   4353 F 20160704235057250 17 75 2304490-043770 56
41622 16 041A   4353 F 20160705001052250 17 75 2322196-037400 56
41622 16 041A   4353 F 20160705001302250 17 75 2324163-036690 56
41622 16 041A   4353 F 20160705003007250 17 75 2339501-031390 56
41622 16 041A   4353 F 20160705003307250 17 75 2342376-030500 56
41622 16 041A   4353 F 20160705003552250 17 75 2345117-029650 56
41622 16 041A   4353 F 20160705004022250 17 75 2349307-028280 56
41622 16 041A   4353 F 20160705004517250 17 75 2354067-026860 56
41622 16 041A   4353 F 20160705004902250 17 75 2357427-025740 56
41622 16 041A   8600 G 20160705123726000 18 75 2040343+016200 56
41622 16 041A   8600 G 20160705123800000 18 75 2041031+016430 56
41622 16 041A   8600 G 20160705123835000 18 75 2041333+016580 56
41622 16 041A   8600 G 20160705134309000 18 75 2133453+040450 56


MUOS 5?                                              15242 x 35703 km
1 41622U 16041A   16186.93646397 0.00000000  00000-0  00000+0 0    08
2 41622   9.8319 324.4682 3211964 178.4686 182.8307  1.52727671    09

rms   0.003   from 14 observations Jul 3.46 - Jul 5.57 (arc 2.1 days)

If this is MUOS 5, it is still in GTO. This means that it is still manoeuvering, 
so can be late and off-track with regard to the above TLE.

The object shows bright very specular flashes (a few seconds duration only) to 
mag +8, and during the longer minima it is almost (Paul's imagery) and 
completely (my imagery) invisible. Flash rate is unclear, but up to two flashes 
in 5 minutes were observed.

Paul observed it close to MUOS 1 and only a few degrees from the expected MUOS 5 
checkout position (which he is diligently covering). I observed it in the same 
FOV as Mentor 6, low above my local southeast horizon.

We believe this object to be the MUOS 5 payload (but might be wrong, so beware). 
The RAAN is similar to the RAAN of the initial deployment orbit derived from 
Paul and Kevin's observations from June 24-25: see 
http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Jun-2016/0121.html. The difference in RAAN of the 
two orbits is about ~3 degrees, which is close enough.

- Marco


-----
Dr Marco Langbroek  -  SatTrackCam Leiden, the Netherlands.
e-mail: sattrackcam_at_langbroek.org

Cospar 4353 (Leiden):   52.15412 N, 4.49081 E (WGS84), +0 m ASL
Station (b)log: http://sattrackcam.blogspot.com
Twitter: _at_Marco_Langbroek
PGP key: http://tinyurl.com/kur7xm8
-----
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Received on Tue Jul 05 2016 - 16:30:32 UTC

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