OIG BBS demise / OIG Web access

Mike McCants (mikem@freeside.fc.net)
Wed, 10 Jun 1998 13:19:26 -0500 (CDT)

I deliberately tested the "100 TLE daily limit" yesterday.
Today I tried to get a couple of elsets and I got a message that I had
hit my daily limit.  I sent a message about this to Eric Hicks
and received the following reply:

>The term daily means any continuous 24 hour period not calendar day.

So apparently I will be able to get more elsets about 4PM this afternoon.
Very convenient.  Not.

OIG wrote:
>The daily TLE query limit applies only for orbital objects which are not 
>available in the Special Interest group listings.  The Special Interest 
>groups contain listings for over 1000 objects.

Actually, the files in "grouptle.zip" contain elsets for 1237 different
objects.  However, 670 of these are in "geo.tle" and are geosync objects.
Also a number of the elsets are for decayed objects and some are for
objects that have been "lost".

There is a file for the 72 Iridium payloads.

These files are updated once a day about 3PM EDT.

So if I got "iridium.tle" from the OIG web page at 3PM Central time,
that would be equivalent to what I was doing every day at 3PM.

The "thirty.tle" does seem to have elsets for recent launches, so
if I get it at 3PM, that would be equivalent to what I normally
obtained for my "recent.zip".

However, I do not know if these files are updated on Saturdays
and Sundays.

OIG wrote:
>The TLE
>queries are provided to assist our users that have specific interests
>which are outside of the Special Interest groups.

The "visible.tle" file contains 268 objects.  The next-to-last object
in this file is 1992 93B because no one has cared about this file
since 1992.  The last object in the file is TRMM because it's a NASA object.

OIG wrote:
>We can accommodate a limited number of high volume TLE users.

They could accommodate an unlimited number of "high volume" TLE users
if those users are required to fill out the form listing which
objects they want to retrieve and then save the resulting screen
to a file.  Because no one is going to spend his time doing that
for more than a handful of objects.

OIG wrote:
>These high volume users must submit 
>significant justification for their requirements and be approved by NASA 

Sounds like a government bureaucracy to me.

OIG wrote:
>Included in the special interest group is a amateur grouping of all
>radio and amateur satellites.

These 27 objects are normally not of interest to visual observers.


Phillip Clark wrote:
>Anyway, I hope that Mike can incorporate these files into what he puts 
>together after the demise of the bulletin board, but anyone can access 
>the files via Dave Ransom's on-line facilities.

The "daily" files containing elsets for all objects is obtained
by Phil Clark in England and sent to Dave Ransom's ftp site in
California.  These files are equivalent to the files I was using
for "alldat.zip".  Since I do alldat.zip only once a week, the
use of these files will produce an equivalent file.

Similarly, the "Molczan" file is also produced only once a week
and the use of these files for it should be acceptable.

>Happy number-crunching ........

Fortunately this system gets data at 50K/sec and crunches tles
at about 2000/sec.  :-)


So I do not think there will be a "data availability" problem.
There will perhaps be "data timeliness" problems.  Getting up-to-the-
minute elsets for decaying objects will not be as convenient for
those of us who could access the BBS with some Unix scripts.

It is possible that I will be able to access the web query page
with a Unix script, but it's going to take an unknown amount of
work to accomplish that.

And, of course, a non-registered user can get only 20 elsets.
But John Smith0001 can get 20, John Smith0002 can get 20, etc.  :-)?

Mike McCants