Re: Flock 2B 2 (40951) Reentry Seen from Southern England, UK

From: William Stewart via Seesat-l <>
Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2016 08:41:55 +0100
Hi Adam,

Many thanks for pointing out this paper - it contains some very interesting details:

36 satellites and 350000 positional measurements per day yields circa 9700 positional measurements per satellite per day. Clearly the actual number
per satellite per day will depend on whether they are in the sun-synchronous or ISS orbit and of course not all measurements will result in "good"
data but even if 90% are discarded, it's still an impressive dataset.

The public availability of daily and archived TLEs are also of interest. Do you know if the attitude control data (ie satellite 001 switched to
attitude X at this time and maintained it for a duration of A and switched to attitude Y at that time for duration B etc) is archived / available?

My thinking being that a combination of this plus the TLE dataset should facilitate more accurate modelling of the atmospheric density (and more
specifically the variation in the density) with time and location. In short, the satellites (and there are plans to have lots of them) could be used
as probes of upper atmospheric density.

I appreciate that this may not be Planet Labs #1 priority but was wondering if consideration had been given to some sort of research collaboration
(Doctoral / Post Doctoral proposal for a University) to determine if the above was possible (if there was sufficient interest) and ultimately have an
automated way of accomplishing this.

I'd assume that other satellite operators would be interested in having more accurate (and regularly updated) upper atmospheric density data to help
inform models of when / where re-entries may occur.

And if nothing else, improving the accuracy of the re-entry predictions to the extent that the public could be alerted to "go out and enjoy the show"
may not be bad publicity for Planet Labs ... I know that the Iridium Satellite Company are much better know as a result of the predictable bright
flares from their satellites.

Best regards

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Received on Thu Oct 06 2016 - 02:42:53 UTC

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