RE: Unidentified Satellites

From: Mark McCarron (
Date: Wed May 08 2013 - 01:02:47 UTC

  • Next message: George Roberts: "Re: Unidentified Satellites"

    I need to quantify the possible sources of errors, then I will have a better idea of how accurate my observations are:
    1.  When looking at the sky, assuming that the field of view is around 140 degrees wide (and the view is unobstructed), how far away could a satellite be from the observer in both a straight line and in reference to the ground?
    2.  How accurate is Kepler data and data pushed out by USSTRATCOM?  How far could satellites deviate from this plotted location?
    3.  Anything else you can think of.
    Mark McCarron
    > Date: Tue, 7 May 2013 22:07:53 +0100
    > Subject: Re: Unidentified Satellites
    > From:
    > To:
    > CC:
    > 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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