re: the Iridium format

Jay Respler (
Thu, 25 Sep 1997 01:32:14 -0400 (EDT)

>4. Azimuth and elevation can be calculated from observer's
>   location and recent TLE. So in fact it needs not be reported.

I haven't gotten involved with this till now, but here are a couple of

I think Az/El would be more important than RA/Dec for these observations. 
Flashes don't depend on Ra/Dec, but they DO depend on angles in relation to
Why bother converting RA/Dec to Az/El?  Run a program like QUICKSAT every
second or 2 for that part of the pass and read the numbers directly.  Wouldn't
that be easier?

>We've had the COSPAR vs NORAD discussion here several times. Like it or
>not, here in the USA the NORAD # is as entrenched as miles and inches and

I vote for dropping the US system and going metric. 
But I do think NORAD is easier to use.

>>9. I am very pleased that you have accepted the COSPAR-id of the
>>   satellites. It has always been used by all sources of predictions
>>   (USA, Europe, former Soviet Union) and was officially agreed upon
>Nope! In the amateur world, and much non international government use it's
>NORAD# over here. There are exceptions of course but mostly we use NORAD.

COSPAR is definitely the Official way to name satellites. It also quickly
identifies objects from the same launch and gives an idea if object is
payload, rocket, or debris.  However, most tracking programs, and all TLEs are
based on NORAD #.  COSPAR (98-123AAA) can use 9 spaces. NORAD is more
efficient using only 5 digits.  NORAD is the way to go when looking for

>Speaking of 80 characters/line... Sorry to get a little off topic by
>bringing up an 'internet 101' sort of issue but the problem that inspires
>(irritates:-) me 

Yes, I've mentioned that too.  All Inet rules that I've read say to limit
lines to 80 char.  I think the problem is that when people go to windows, they
switch to proportional font.  Dos, ASCII, and others use monospace font.  The
PS font is smaller, sticks more letters on a line, and messes up line lengths
when viewed outside of windows.
When sending from windows to Internet email, a mono font or shorter line
length should be used.

Jay Respler
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