EUROpean Satellite Observers Meeting (EUROSOM) 2

Bart De Pontieu (BDP@MPEPL)
Mon, 25 Mar 1996 18:27:04 +0100 (CET)

The second edition of the European Satellite Observers Meeting (Eurosom 2)
will be held during the weekend of October 19 and 20, 1996 in hotel Ibis
in the city of Ghent, Belgium. Just like the first edition (which was
held in October 1994 in Hasselt, Belgium) Eurosom 2 is organized by the
Belgian Working Group Satellites and sponsored by the VVS (Belgian
Astronomical Society) and the Dutch Working Group Satellites.

Eurosom 2 is intended for everyone interested in visual satellite observing,
even if you're not European :-) Several speakers have already agreed to try 
to attend Eurosom 2 and give invited talks. If all circumstances are 
favourable, the following people will be present to give an invited talk:
1. Bjorn Gimle, Junibacken, Sweden. Bjorn is very active on SeeSat-L
where he provides regular predictions of decay times of satellites. He will
probably talk about the orbits of decaying satellites and the mathematical 
methods and software tools for decay predictions. He will also talk about
software to prepare, analyze and report observations.

2. Paul D. Maley, NASA Johnson Space Center Astronomical Society, Houston, 
Texas, United States. Paul supervises the work of 13 engineers in the 
Payload Operations Unit of Rockwell Space Operations Company at the NASA 
Johnson Space Center. Aside from being very active in solar eclipse observing
and the International Occultation Timing Association (IOTA) of which he is
vice president, Paul is also a very experienced satellite observer. His talk
will probably center on low light level video applied to satellite tracking.
More specifically he will talk about the observation of Shuttle reentries, 
reentry of the Shuttle external tank, the SEDS tether, an earth satellite as 
seen from the Space Shuttle, Barium cloud experiments, etc. He will probably 
also show video of some BWGS targets and discuss the pro's and con's of using 
this type of application for flash period data collection.  

3. Mike McCants, Austin, Texas, United States. An active observer for more than
20 years, Mike is also renowned for his orbital calculations (decays, flash
periods, synodic effects, orbital debris...). Mike will probably talk about
advanced measuring techniques for flashing satellites, using a multiple
memory stop watch, and the effects on e.g. the flash period accuracy. He
will probably also discuss measurements of the synodic effect of flashing
rockets. Possible other subjects include observations and calculations of
exploded rockets and resulting debris, decaying satellites, etc...
Mike will bring slides of his observing instruments.

4. Jay Respler, New Jersey, United States. Jay is an experienced observer,
who is specialized in observations of space debris, which nowadays also 
gets a lot of attention from professional scientists because of the danger
it poses to active and manned payloads. Jay is currently working on a 
database of observations and magnitude estimates of all satellites brighter
than magnitude 13. He will discuss his experiences and measuring techniques.

We are hoping to get Ron Dantowitz to present the high-resolution
observations he and his group have obtained of the Space Shuttle-MIR dockings.
Hopefully, Alain Grycan will be present to present an update on his
efforts in high-resolution imaging of MIR and Shuttle.

The program also includes a talk by Kurt Jonckheere of the BWGS about his
recent (succesful) efforts to predict accelerations of flashing rockets
using changes in the orbital elements.
Bart De Pontieu of the BWGS will talk about his method to determine the
rotation axis of flashing rockets, and will present recent results and
their application to accelerating rockets.

Finally, video material of the Canadian Space Agency will be presented which 
was taken during a sounding rocket flight. During this experiment a tumbling 
sub-satellite was deployed while it remained connected to the main payload 
with a tether. Also, footage of the TSS-1R, taken by Dr. Kym Thalassoudis
from Australia will be presented.

The meeting will start on Saturday morning at 9h30 and ends on Sunday
afternoon at 17h (with plenty of breaks to eat, drink coffee and sleep :-).
The registration fee is 400 Belgian Francs (i.e. 20 DEM, about 14 US dollar)
as a contribution to the organizational costs and in return for which you
will receive the Eurosom 2 proceedings. For details on how to register and
prices for food and lodging, check the Eurosom 2 Home Page at:

For people who think Eurosom 2 is too far/expensive/short:
1. Airfare to Belgium (esp. from the US) may not be as high as you expect.
2. The meeting takes place in the middle of the historical (medieval) center 
of Ghent. Ghent by itself offers many great sight-seeing spots (like the Castle
of the Counts, the ghotic St. Baafs Cathedral). But in addition to that, within
one hour of Ghent, you can visit great historical cities like Bruges (Brugge),
Antwerp, Brussels, Leuven, etc... In short, combine your visit to Eurosom 2
with a touristic visit of Belgium. You won't regret it :-)

The deadline for registration is September 15, 1996. If you want to give a
talk (there *is* still room for a few contributed talks of 20 to 30 minutes),
please notify me as soon as possible.

Hope to see you all in October,

Bart De Pontieu <>