Telescope live trial

From: Brad Young via Seesat-l <seesat-l_at_satobs.org>
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2019 09:33:00 +0000 (UTC)
Pardon typos still dictating due to hand surgery.
So I tried telescope live. I was very intrigued by s p a - 1, located in Spain, because it provides a five degree field-of-view. The iTelescopes equipment in Spain has not been my friend, and it is very useful to have such a large field of view when trying to catch satellites.
Pros:The 5 degree field of view is quite nice, although there is significant vignette at the edges (I should note that one of the three images I took had tracking problems with smears, so I have applied for a refund on that one).
The dashboard and other HMI to set up the exposures takes a little getting used to, but it is better than some.
Allows as little as five second exposure time, and does not charge you for the full minute on each exposure like I telescopes does.
Even with just a 30 second exposure, very good images with lots of satellites in the field I chose, which was not at a great phase angle.
Although FITS file does not provide any information on position angle, focal length, or other necessary information to plate solve the images, I found it fairly easy to figure it out and create a new configuration file for s p a - 1.

Cons:The scheduling is hard set, you can't change anything about the plan while your reservation time is executing. This means that you better hit the field just right, and that can be a problem if there are other reservations or any issues with the telescope.

Not really gaining any longitude coverage with this service, still missing a swath through the middle East.
Doesn't allow you to do any imaging outside of astronomical twilight, so I can't try to get LEOs during twilight with the wide field.
Just like all the other services I've tried, they do not provide tracking based on tles. 
Just a note related to that, I recently communicated with iTelescopes about the need for more remote imaging to support satellite tracking in the future. they are planning to make improvements, review their pricing structure, and other changes that might benefit satellite tracking, however they do not intend to provide orbital tracking. they are going to investigate the market for the next year and see if any additional changes would be relevant.
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Received on Tue Dec 31 2019 - 03:33:55 UTC

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