LX200 Satellite Viewing System WORKS!

spaceman (spaceman@tiac.net)
Wed, 18 Oct 1995 10:34:26 -0400

Hi Everyone-

I thought that you might know of some folks who would be 
interested in this... It's some information about the new 
LX200 Satellite viewing system.  Feel free to post it 
anywhere you like!  

As for a review, the system WORKS!  It really 
is astonishing.  For those who said the LX200 could never 
be used for viewing satellites, It is my pleasure to
announce that now it can be done.

Call or e-mail if you have any questions,  all inquiries 
will be answered promptly.

PS Saw Mir tonight- WOW!  Turned red red red as it went 
into Earth's shadow.   

From:   Celestial Computing, Inc.
        Ron Dantowitz
        Marek Kozubal

RE:     Information Requested:
        NEW! CSAT Satellite Viewing System for the LX200

Thanks for your interest in our software.  We're very proud of the CSAT 
Satellite Viewing System, it was alot (ALOT!) of work, but it's finally ready.
Now you can use your LX200 (or other computerized telescope) to view  
satellites as they orbit over your location... we've even seen sats 40,000 
km up with just an 8" LX200... from the city!  Whether you're doing 
satellite science or you just want to see the shuttle up close through the 
telescope, satellite watching is fun- really.  You'll be hooked, mark my 

Here is a short excerpt from the C-SAT manual that (briefly) discusses 
what the software is and does.  Note: when ordering CSAT, be sure to 
specify whether your computer's serial port (ie COM 1, COM 2, etc) is 
a 9-pin or 25-pin port (so we can send you the proper connector).  If you 
haven't seen our Ad in November 1995 Sky and Telescope magazine, be 
sure to check it out... it pretty much says it all.  $99 U.S. + $5 S&H, check 
or money order is fine.  Price includes software installation disks, manual, 
sample orbital elements, and all cables and connectors required.  Just load 
the software, and you'll be seeing satellites the same day.  30 day money 
back guarantee- but you're gonna like it!

Also: let us know if you have performed a 2-star alignment before (if not, 
let us know what version of the LX200 Software you have).  The version # 
of the software is displayed on the hand controller when you turn the LX200 



1) Introducing CSAT

	What is CSAT?

	CSAT is a complete software package that automatically scans for 
objects as they orbit over your area, calculates their apparent position against
 your local sky, and points a computerized telescope to them with high 
precision.  CSAT has been designed to be easy to use, and allows you to 
watch and/or photograph satellites as they pass through your telescopic field 
of view.  CSAT is a dynamic propagator, and it is accurate for any observing 
site on Earth and any satellite for which orbital elements are available.  This 
software was originally created to auto-point the LX200,  but other versions 
are available to run other computer-driven telescopes as well (contact 
Celestial Computing, Inc. for additional details).

When connected to your  computerized telescope, CSAT enables you to see 
literally hundreds of satellites, many of which would ordinarily be too dim or 
distant to be seen with the unaided eye.  On especially clear nights, 8" and 
larger telescopes can often be used to view geosychronous satellites 40,000 
km away (see appendix E for a suggested list of first targets).  The key in 
seeing satellites is knowing EXACTLY when in time and EXACTLY where 
in space to point the telescope!

	How does CSAT work?
	CSAT uses SGP4 and SDP4 satellite propagation theory.  Given 
some basic orbital parameters, an accurate time, and your precise location 
on the Earth, CSAT calculates the x,y,z location of the satellite in Earth 
orbit,  the x,y,z location of the observer on a rotating oblate earth, and and 
projects satellite apparent position on your local celestial sphere.  These 
calcualtions are performed real-time, and are accurate regardless of 
whether the satellite is accelerating or decelerating, in an eccentric orbit, 
or experiencing modest atmospheric drag.  The propagation models used 
in CSAT are extremely well suited for the computations required by this 

You may be suprised at how easy it is to find satellites with CSAT.  Hit the 
<space> bar and C-Sat scans the orbital space overhead, looking for satellites.
It then displays all objects currently in orbit over your area, and let's you 
select a target. Press one button,  and your computerized telescope 
automatically slews to the exact position in space, and brings the satellite 
through the telescope field of view.  Special features include Pseudo-Track, 
a repeated autocentering routine that allows hands-free satellite viewing.  
Once you "lock onto" a space target, activate Pseudo-Track and the computer 
continues to auto-point the telescope at the satellite, effectively following 
it across the sky until it sets.

We've even "locked onto" satellites that were in Earth's shadow, and 
watched them emerge (red) into the sunlight! 


If you need additional information, please feel free to 
contact us at any of thefollowing:

Send orders to: Celestial Computing
                P.O. Box 32
                Chestnut Hill, MA 02167

e-mail          spaceman@tiac.net

Telephone:      (617) 469 - 7213

Again, thanks for your interest in C-SAT!

Ron Dantowitz
Marek Kozubal

Celestial Computing, Inc.

Let us know if there's anything else you'd like to know!

-Ron Dantowitz
Celestial Computing, Inc.