Re: Telescopic Satellite Tracking software

From: Tim Luton (
Date: Wed Jan 05 2011 - 11:41:50 UTC

  • Next message: Russell Eberst: "2011JAN4-5.OBS"

    For the most part, SATELLITE TRACKER works fine controlling my SLT mount for 
    all LEO provided the tle's are not more than a week or so old. For GEO, it 
    seems sometimes it just freaks out and either a) doesn't like something in 
    the elset (Vortex 6 comes to mind) or b)not aligned close enough initially 
    which causes the scope to be several arc minutes off the predictedion. 
    Working through the initial configuration settings takes some getting use 
    too as well but all in all, I think for the average observer, SATELLITE 
    TRACKER does fine for getting one started in this hobby.
    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: "Greg Roberts" <>
    To: "Dale Ireland" <>
    Cc: <>
    Sent: Wednesday, January 05, 2011 2:04 AM
    Subject: RE: Telescopic Satellite Tracking software
    > Morning Dale
    > Interesting about Nova for Windows. I am aware of the program having tried
    > it years ago but preferred other programs for my satellite tracking - 
    > where
    > ever possible I avoid commercial software when its related to my hobbies. 
    > I
    > also dont have an LX200 type scope so cant try it out. It will be
    > interesting to hear from anyone who has actually used it to track 
    > satellites
    > optically - this is after all the purpose of this discussion to try and 
    > find
    > people who have actually tracked a satellite using available software.
    > The support people at Starry Night apparently claim that their program 
    > WILL
    > track on satellites but its needs a Mac computer - cant afford that luxury
    > so again the question is "has anybody done this?"
    > Im not an expert programmer but I agree with you re why is it so difficult
    > to program a computer to do such?  My CoSaTrak system can do this but its 
    > a
    > "non-standard" system - ie not compatible with anything else as far as I 
    > am
    > aware. It tracks on an ascii file of positions fed in externally but with
    > modern computers it will be no trouble to do this inside the computer
    > program. The computer could, whilst tracking, generate a short ephemeris,
    > determine the dRA and dDec ( variation in RA/Dec over a short time span-
    > second or less ?) and compute the "offsets" from the current position and
    > set the tracking rates in RA and Dec  for such a variation and then send 
    > the
    > appropiate commands to the drive and track on the satellite.  I dont know
    > the innards of SATELLITE TRACKER but would imagine this is how it 
    > operates.
    > In 1994 a  commercial program called SATPRO was available - still is
    > according to their web site - and this was used to partially control large
    > astronomical telescopes to track/image SALYUT 7 etc
    > Then Ron Danowitz acquired some fanatastic imagery of ISS etc more than a
    > decade ago using some program to drive his telescope- so software probably
    > does exist already - its a matter of finding it and somebody applying it 
    > in
    > SeeSat.
    > Cheers
    > Greg
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