Possibly 67040D?

From: Greg Roberts (grr@iafrica.com)
Date: Sun Apr 25 2004 - 03:43:47 EDT

  • Next message: Leo Barhorst: "Obs Apr 24"

    Good Morning all
    The message from Tony Beresford re another high satellite
    >Date: Sun, 25 Apr 2004 12:51:40 +0930
    >From: Tony Beresford <dberesford@adam.com.au>
    >Subject: Another high satellite
    >Looking back thru the RAE tables and the current SSR's the only likely
    >similarity is the 1967 40 launch. This left a satellite ERS18 and a titan
    transtage in an
    >orbit of similar shape , but higher inclination. The last TLE for these
    objects has epoch May >1968.
    It should not be too difficult to confirm whether this is 67040D,aka ERS20,
    aka OV5-3 as this used to transmit on 136.260 Mhz having a modulated
    signal with a period of about 4.56 seconds.   I used to regularly monitor
    this satellite until a few years ago when I last did radio tracking but its
    quite possible it will still be transmitting.   Unfortunately all my radio
    equipment needs a fair bit of work to get operational again so I am passing
    the information onto the HEARSAT group as there should be someone there
    who has the capability to hear it.
    The signal is quite weak, especially when near apogee, so it will be
    necessary to operate the satellite receiver in CW or SSB mode. As the
    satellite approaches perigee the signal becomes strong enough to hear with
    the receiver in FM mode. It is quite a distinctive signal so if still
    will be easy to find.
    I was never able to deduce a good orbit from my radio observations but
    was able to predict roughly when to hear it.  The orbit now will be widely
    different from its original orbit which was at an inclination of 32.9
    and period 2840 minutes, orbit  8619 x 111529 kms. The satellite itself is
    octahedron shaped, weighing about 8.6 kg and having sides 0.28 metre
    wide so its pretty small ( ie faint!!).   From my observations made over
    years I did determine that the inclination went through a wide range - if I
    remember correctly of the order of tens of degrees as a result of
    perturbations which made the orbit determination rather difficult.
    Hope this helps
    ex radio satellite tracker - now too old to play around with antenna's!
    (Last time I did I fell off the ladder and now suffer the consequences
    with a gammy back!)
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