geosynchronous flasher

Tony Beresford (
Tue, 07 Apr 1998 23:25:56 +0900

Fellow satellite Observers,
Mike McCants suggested an identification of the flasher I
have been observing since March 30. Its is the japanese
comsat ETS-6, which is in a non-synchronous orbit,
doing 5/3 revs per day, inclined 14 degrees to the equator.
It was intended for geostationary orbit at 153.8E, but never made
it due to failure of the apogee motor.
This means it does 5 revs in 3 days
and then repeats the track in the sky almost precisely.
For some reason although the element set for ETS-6 was in the 
alldat.tle file I asked highfly to search it didnt find it.

The solar cell array is stated to be 30metres long. The satellite
was 3-axis stabilized, and the overall picture is of a 1 meter cube
between the 2 solar cell panels. I guess the flash comes from
a solar panel.
Tony Beresford