Re: Space Track API - Problems

From: Ryan Shepperd (
Date: Sat Sep 01 2012 - 03:48:36 UTC

  • Next message: John Dormer: "Re: Space-track error question"

    I agree with you that no one needs to download the entire catalog every few hours; however, they might need to download the changes that often.  The missing point is that there are use cases beyond visual satellite observations.  I can use fairly ancient TLEs to catch a satellite with binoculars, but that's not the case when I am at my day job.  Satellite operators need more timely space situational awareness data than what is required to observe a satellite.  I often need to know if another operator's satellite has been maneuvering recently or if an object has displayed recent out-gassing events.  These data are of course supplemental to more accurate information available on space-track to authorized users, but they are nevertheless useful.  For my job, I download the alldata files once a day and the am/pm last-update files twice a day (at home, I only download them every few weeks).  The new interface promises to be more useful for my job in
     that I could, without wasting anyone's bandwidth, query the catalog for changes a little more often.
     From: Marco Langbroek <>
    To:; satelliet lijst (SeeSat) <> 
    Sent: Friday, August 31, 2012 6:23 AM
    Subject: Re: Space Track API - Problems
    Op 31-8-2012 10:21, Ciprian Sufitchi schreef:
    >  Or leave the API the way it is now, but keep generating the TLE
    > bulk file once every 6 hours or so.
    Maybe I am missing something here.
    I don't see at all why you'd need such frequent full database updates.
    One full catalogue download a day is MORE than adequate to generate adequate 
    predictions or check sightings.
    In case of following objects near decay, or newly launched objects, the elements 
    of these can better be retrieved short before the intended observation via the 
    option to retrieve one or a few catalogue number elements.
    I download the bulk tle files 1 or 2 times a week at best, and that is more than 
    - Marco
    Dr Marco Langbroek  -  SatTrackCam Leiden, the Netherlands.
    Cospar 4353 (Leiden):   52.15412 N, 4.49081 E (WGS84), +0 m ASL
    Cospar 4354 (De Wilck): 52.11685 N, 4.56016 E (WGS84), -2 m ASL
    Station (b)log:
    Twitter: @Marco_Langbroek
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