Questions tagged [tracking]

Questions regarding systems used to continually locate objects, often radar.

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3
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1answer
1k views

is space-track.org a free service?

Is the website space-track.org a free service ? If not can someone give other free website to track space debris.
2
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1answer
391 views

Why were early satellites produced with polished “mirror-like” surfaces?

Many/most early artificial satellites were spheres with mirror-like polished outer surfaces. I am guessing that for lower orbits the spherical shape minimized drag as well as simplified the analysis ...
4
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1answer
465 views

What would be a “big picture” understanding of how the orbits of Earth satellites are monitored?

In preparation for another question, I typed "keeping track of satellites in orbit" into a search engine, and found a website called keeptrack.space which has a ...
5
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1answer
216 views

What determines if a star tracker blends two stars that are close to each other?

If two stars are very close to each other, a star tracker could identify the pair as a single star, with a magnitude and position different from both stars. This obviously impairs the software's ...
9
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3answers
2k views

How well could a satellite hide from Earth detection?

If there are only a few "enemy" radars at known locations that can detect a satellite in LEO, I'd assume there are some radar stealth methods using a spacecraft carefully shaped and oriented such that ...
4
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0answers
110 views

Equinoctial Elements and Perturbative Effects

I have an Orbital model in Equinoctial Elements (paper). There is a perturbative acceleration term in the model. Can someone point me to some relevant papers showing how to include different ...
3
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1answer
251 views

Are 1U cubesats sufficiently detectable to get at least minimally usefully predictive public TLEs, updated regularly?

Satellite radar cross-sections is a complex function of satellite structure, design, materials, instantaneous attitude, (radar) frequency, polarization, and if has moving parts, configuration, just to ...
6
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2answers
1k views

CubeSat Orbit Determination

I'm thinking about the feasibility of making a CubeSat to test the EM drive thruster. Assuming the microwave electronics and resonant cavity could be scaled down to CubeSat size (5 watts, let's say), ...
4
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1answer
262 views

How accurate can near earth asteroids be tracked?

To get more statistical significance for the suspected flyby-anomaly (or to refute it), it would be desirable to track as many hyperbolic earth flybys to within 1mm/s as we can get. Can we track ...
8
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1answer
432 views

Is it possible for the Deep Space Network to use MSPA and antenna arraying simultaneously?

Suppose Mars Odyssey (ODY) and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) are being tracked by antenna A (just for example) at the Goldstone Deep Space Network complex in MSPA mode. Is it possible for ...
8
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2answers
689 views

Is this the longest that a spacecraft “went to sleep” and then woke up on schedule?

For various reasons, spacecraft are sometimes "put to sleep" for periods of time on long voyages. Many systems are shut down, and radio communications suspended. Tracking of spacecraft at very large ...
12
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4answers
1k views

Would a Voyager spacecraft trajectory change be recognized?

Consider the following hypothetical event: a Voyager spacecraft (1 or 2) changes its planned interstellar trajectory quite suddenly (I'm well aware of motion and gravity laws and I know that this ...
17
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1answer
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What are these enclosed regions on the Mission Control Center map?

Whilst watching NASA TV over the years, I've often seen the map on the wall of Mission Control:      "Main Screen in the ISS Mission Control Center", by AGeekMom, CC BY 2.0 In ...
7
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1answer
187 views

Tracking of Mir space station backwards in time?

Is there a site with the tracking information for the old space station Mir? Or some place with the data location tracking information still available? Maybe even a site with orbital mechanics ...
16
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2answers
3k views

How does a spacecraft such as Soyuz detect when it's on collision course with an object?

Today Roscosmos reported (in Russian, here's a machine translation into English) that the Soyuz vehicle on its way to the ISS avoided collision with a piece of Japanese rocket body, allegedly launched ...
8
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1answer
546 views

Autonomous Navigation for deep space missions

Autonomous navigation started in early phases of deep space exploration as a provision to achieve accuracy for planet/natural satellite targeting and approach, where radio tracking accuracies were low,...
3
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2answers
816 views

Why has no TLE been published for the DSCOVR satellite and the Falcon 9 R/B?

So, usually a few days after every launch, I go out and check out the published TLE data for each satellite, made public courtesy of CelesTrak. It generally includes all the orbital parameters for ...
7
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1answer
290 views

How can we track where DSCOVR is now?

Celestia supports importing spacecraft data, but I didn't see any data for DSCOVR. Is there any way to see where it is now so we can track it on it's way to Sun-Earth L1?
8
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1answer
530 views

For SpaceX's Texas launch site, what kind of range radar/tracking will they have?

The Air Force runs the range for launches out of Florida and it is aging hardware, with long reset times, radars dropping off (Like first attempt of DSCOVR, and SMAP launch). I cannot find a ...
5
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1answer
102 views

Range Measurement from Range signal downlink

How is accurate time of round-travel determined from downlinked ranging signal? AFAIK Ranging signal, used to determine distance of a spacecraft is usually a reference wave modulated and uplinked, ...
11
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1answer
281 views

Tracking Arc and Time for Precise Orbit Determination

It is said that for Precise Orbit Determination (POD) of interplanetary spacecrafts, generally, during the cruise phase for aiding accurate TCM (Trajectory Correction Maneuvers) planning, long arc of ...
2
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1answer
323 views

Does mission control track craft in an adjacent orbit on the Mercator?

shows the Mercator screen at the centre. I'm probably wrong about this (feel free to shoot me down) but the Mercator up there appears to render what look like 3 different orbit tracks. Why are there ...
16
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2answers
6k views

Are any geosynchronous satellites visible with the naked eye?

It is very easy to spot LEO satellites during dusk or dawn. I am wondering if satellites further out in a geosynchronous orbit are also visible. Of course, if even possible, these would appear more ...
8
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1answer
2k views

Why did ISRO require additional tracking ships in the South Pacific for its MOM mission?

ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) so far never before used additional marine vessels to help track their launch vehicles, as an extension to the Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN). So why did it ...
13
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5answers
2k views

Satellite tracking software

I am looking for some software that will help me figure out what different satellites are as I spot them gliding across the sky. I have tried using Stellarium, but I think the satellite package has ...
9
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1answer
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During launch, how is the launch vehicle tracked?

Obviously a launch vehicle needs to be tracked quite precisely during launch, but how is this accomplished? Is it all done from the ground, or do launch vehicles normally fly with GPS receivers? Is ...
20
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2answers
807 views

Can spacecraft be made invisible to stations on Earth?

Can spacecraft be made invisible to ground stations? For example, are spy satellites perhaps equipped with stealth technology to prevent radar tracking? Or is it pointless as they can always be ...

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