Iridium Flare prediction pr

24 Sep 1997 08:57:39 -0800

Good news Iridium watchers,

Paul Maley at JSC has just sent me a very informative message regarding the
Iridium satellites that will allow me to write a program that predicts
when/where flares should occur for a particular observer, and approximately
how bright:

"Rob: I think the flares do not come from the arrays. There are 4 main
mission antennas that are flat panels oriented 90 degrees to one
another. The panels are tilted 40 degrees from the vertical (toward
earth) or 50 degrees from the earth toward the satellite zenith. One
always faces the velocity vector.  I am willing to bet that there is a
very good chance that the MMA's are the sources of the flares."

Give me a few days to put together some code and compare its predictions with
previously observed flares.  Once I've got something that seems to work, I'll
make it available to everyone through the vsohp and/or any other suitable
location. --Rob