Re: Unidentified Satellites

From: Henry Hallam (
Date: Tue May 07 2013 - 22:40:16 UTC

  • Next message: Mark McCarron: "RE: Unidentified Satellites"

    Hi Mark,
    Especially with the wide variation in time to cross the horizon, I
    wouldn't rule out air traffic - while it's usually possible to tell
    from the position lights, sometimes it can look quite deceptively
    1090 MHz ADS-B does NOT cover all aircraft.  It covers nearly all
    airliners but not the majority of general aviation or military
    traffic.  Military aircraft may also use nonstandard lighting, making
    it even more confusing visually.
    What is the distribution over time-of-day for your observations?
    On Tue, May 7, 2013 at 10:07 PM, C. Bassa <> wrote:
    > Hi Mark,
    > On Tue, May 7, 2013 at 9:54 PM, Mark McCarron <> wrote:
    >> Sorry, you would need some understanding of image processing and software engineering.  It is possible to automate observations and orbital calculations.  I was wondering if anyone has done this.
    > Yes this has been done. I have written my own software to process
    > frames from a highly sensitive video camera, calibrate the astrometry
    > and measure satellite positions. Such measurements are routinely
    > posted here such that we can keep track of the orbits of objects for
    > which SpaceTrack does not publish elements.
    > I observe from essentially the same latitude as you and in my video
    > observations I see very few unidentified satellites; the vast majority
    > of objects I do see agree with predictions from up to date elements by
    > SpaceTrack and Mike McCants. Observations of those objects that are
    > not immediately identified are posted on this list, just like Kevin
    > Fetter did earlier today.
    > Regards,
    >     Cees
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