"U" vs "C" vs ... in elsets

Jim Varney (jamesv@softcom.net)
Thu, 3 Jun 1999 21:01:09 -0700

Allen Thomson wrote:

> Long form: As I understand it, this is a classification designator used by
> NORAD. U being "unclassified", C  "confidential", S (which I've occasionally
> seen slip through, though not on any very interesting objects)  "secret", T
> "top secret," and, who knows, perhaps other letters for things even toper
> secret.
> In the present (GPS) case, Jim Varney has chosen to use C (presumably for
> "computed") to distingish the GPS elements he computes from information
> available at a JPL site (http://www.softcom.net/users/jamesv/gps/gps.html)
>  presumably to distinguish them from official NORAD disseminations). Jim may
> want to comment on this.   I, because I don't like to mess with data more
> than necessary, simply transfer the elements to the elyymmdd files with the
> C left in.

Randy John is right: I used the 'C' instead of 'U' when computing the GPS 
elsets to express the continuing humor I feel over the contradictory policy 
of withholding elsets when highly precise orbital data is available 

Anyway, my apologies to Rick von Glahn for breaking his Element Manager 
program.  That certainly wasn't my intent!

Allen raises a very good point -- I think it would be very useful to use 
column 8 to differentiate between official NORAD elsets ("U") and those 
that are calculated by Seesat folks.  Too bad "S" is taken.  S for "SeeSat-
produced elsets" would be a nice touch. 

 -- Jim

Jim Varney        -121.398 W, 38.457 N, 10m
Member, Sacramento Valley Astronomical Society
Sacramento Iridiums www.softcom.net/users/jamesv/index.htm