Calipso questions

From: Paul Bridges (
Date: Fri Feb 27 2009 - 17:30:36 UTC

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    Amateur/Lurker here in California. I have some Calipso passes over the next few months and would like to try to observe/photograph the green laser. I see that the laser is down for most of Mar/Apr due to a leak, but I have good passes in May. I would be appreciative if someone could clear up some of these questions...
    1. I normally usually use Heavens-Above and HeavenSat to spot ISS, STS, and Iridiums.  Is there a better tool (using Windows) for making ground tracks?  H-Above provides little detail. SeeSat archives mention, but this appears to be only historical data, and I don't know how to make a ground track from it.
    2. I see mentions of "orbit raise" and "drag make-up maneuver". What is the difference?  Is it safe to assume they only affect timing by a few seconds and not the ground track?
    3. Since the beam width on ground is only 70 meters, how do I fine tune or verify position?  How would I generate coordinates for use with GPS?
    Thanks in advance
    Paul B.  
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