What is the minimum amount of information that is required to predict satellite passes.

Can it be done with the period, inclination, apogee, perigee and eccentricity only?


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    $\begingroup$ No, there's no getting away from needing seven; the six Keplerian elements plus a time ("epoch") at which it's at a certain position within the orbit. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Oct 13 at 9:40
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks interesting read, if I want to compress the data is TLE the besr format to work with? $\endgroup$
    – P_J
    Oct 13 at 10:19
  • $\begingroup$ TLEs are exotic animals. They look like Kepler elements + epoch (plus some drag terms) but they aren't. They're generated in a special way and have to be propagated using SGP4. You can search this site for many discussions about all of that. If what you want to do is predict satellite passes, the best way is to use the Python package [Skyfield](). It can download the TLEs for you, propagate them with SGP4 and make accurate pass predictions for any location on Earth, as well as check to see if the satellite is sunlit or in darkness (therefore not visible). $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Oct 13 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ See my comments under Calculating Which Satellite Passes are Visible - Need help $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Oct 13 at 15:15
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks I'll have at look at SkyField today. I have been playing around with the SGP4 python package and that seems good also. $\endgroup$
    – P_J
    Oct 14 at 0:06

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