Questions tagged [two-line-elements]

Set of values carefully prepared to be used together with a simplified perturbations model (most often SGP4) to predict satellite positions with a moderate level of accuracy for times near the epoch contained within the TLE.

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Given the measured positions of an object, how to retrieve its latest TLE?

I'm working on a simulation space project, in which I simulate the positions of all the Low Earth Orbit objects at any time. For the moment I have a 3LE database of LEO objects, and each time a ground ...
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Calculating Which Satellite Passes are Visible - Need help

I am a beginner Python programmer. I am trying to get the code in the article "Calculating which satellites are visible" to function without success. My plan is to identify satellites that ...
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Is there an API for accessing old TLEs of non-historic objects?

There are various APIs online for accessing TLEs for a satellite object from CelesTrak. However, the APIs retrieved are usually the most recent ones generated. There are also a lesser number of APIs ...
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How to generate TLEs based on a set of observation points (location, azimuth, elevation... no range)

I'm interested in generating a "corrected TLE1" based on observation data. I would have observed azimuth and elevation, site location, and time. All of those data fields are observed with ...
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Textbook or scholarly discussion of equations used by the SDP4 part of SGP4 TLE propagators beyond Space Track Report #1?

(the famous) Space Tract Report #3 discussed at length in Dr. T.S. Kelso's Revisiting Spacetrack Report #3, AIAA 2006-6753 Describes the "deep space" corrections to the original SGP4 known ...
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Did Tianzhou-2 have a TLE before docking with Tianhe 8 hours after launch? Which is the 2nd stage rocket body and roughly how soon will it reenter?

Clicking on https://celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/stations.txt I get ...
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Where can i find ELSETS with Co-Variances?

For Special Permutations (I'm a novice), an ELSET with covariance is more accurate than without covariance. A TLE doesn't have room for any covariance. However, I can't seem to find a catalog that ...
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107 views

In a 3D space defined by semimajor axis, eccentricity and inclination, what would be the shape of the space where SDP4 works better than SGP4?

@BillGray's answer to Why can't custom-made TLEs for the DSCOVR launch booster in orbit around Earth work with SDP4? is quite interesting and informative; I fail to do it justice by summarizing it as ...
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Is Vallado's Revisiting Spacetrack Report #3 still relevant today?

The title pretty much sums it up. I am reading David A. Vallado's Revisiting Spacetrack Report #3, which was published in 2006 and includes source code for the SGP model series. I was wondering, is ...
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How do cubesat owners first find out their cubesat's initial trajectory? How do they point antennas at it before official TLEs start to appear?

When cubesats are first deployed it can sometimes take several days before they start appearing in official TLE distributions, and even then if many were deployed it may take a lot more work to decide ...
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What is the "+" symbol for the drag term encoded in a TLE?

I have two TLE, the drag term for the first TLE is -26868-1, which I suppose equals to -0.026868. But on the second TLE, we have ...
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What is/was legacy TLE ephemeris type 2? (TLE, line 1, column 63)

Wikipedia's Two-Line Element Set entry for line 1, column 63 (1.12) says: Ephemeris type (internal use only - always zero in distributed TLE data)13 13Celestrak Frequently Asked Questions: Two-Line ...
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TLE filtering techniques to remove the mean motion/eccentricity/inclination outliers

I am working on a TLE filtering code to prepare the TLE series for orbit propagation. I am using a sliding window approach with meadian+ n*mad or IQR to detect the outliers in those orbital elements ...
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293 views

TLE on path to be deprecated - what is 9 digit?

The TLE format will soon run out of numbers. The US Space Force is implementing an Alpha 5 scheme where the first byte of the NORAD_ID will be a letter giving nearly 400,000 numbers. After that a 9-...
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Will the new "TLE format" be orbitally-mechanically better than traditional TLEs?

Celetrak's A New Way to Obtain GP Data (aka TLEs) by Dr. T.S. Kelso 2020 May 27 explains the arrival a new infoblob format that in several ways is "better" than the ancient TLE, and contains ...
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Why can't custom-made TLEs for the DSCOVR launch booster in orbit around Earth work with SDP4?

This fascinating answer to Why has no TLE been published for the DSCOVR satellite and the Falcon 9 R/B? presents links to custom-made TLEs for the Falcon 9 rocket body that put DSCOVR into orbit, and ...
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Get dates when a satellite has performed maneuver from historical TLE data (python)?

I have been recently acquainted with orbital mechanics and am trying to do some analysis on the subject. Since I don't have subject matter expertise, I am at a crossroads with trying to decide that ...
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Second derivative of mean motion as indicator of deorbit

I noticed that the second derivative of mean motion (SDMM) is non-zero for only a small percentage of the NORAD catalog. All those objects I checked have reentered since the TLEs I was using were ...
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Where can I find a satellite/space debris database with object masses

The title pretty much says it all. As far as I can tell the default method by which space debris objects are tracked/stored in a database is using two line element sets. However these have no way to ...
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How can I plot satellite's trajectory from three different TLEs to detect any deviation on path with time?

I have obtained TLE information of a satellite from space-track.org for three different times. I am trying to study any deviation of the satellite trajectory from its usual path. Here I am comparing ...
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How do two-line element sets handle rev numbers > 99,999?

In a two-line element set (TLE), five characters in line 2 -- columns 64-68 -- are for the rev number. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-line_element_set) But some satellites have been around the ...
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Why is the NORAD Catalog number of SpaceX's Starlink's "Darksat" both 71130 and 44972?

@BowlOfRed's answer to Which of the recently launched Starlink satellites is the coated one? links to Celestrak's supplemental table for Starlink. https://celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/supplemental/...
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How can I plot a satellite TLE from its orbital parameters using python and skyfield? [closed]

I have a function that uses TLEs (Two-line elements) from Celestrak to plot the visibility of a satellite in Python. Is there a method with skyfield or poliastro to plot a TLE from given orbital ...
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What caused the ISS Two Line Element Day of Year problem beginning 12-24-2019?

Does anyone know happened at NORAD or NASA or wherever the published TLEs originate, that caused the ISS TLE wonkiness during the last week of 2019? It did not happen in 2018. What happened? The ...
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Why are there some NORAD catalog IDs larger than 80000 in space-track?

I was trying to find the international designator for the Starlink-2 constellation launch. Not finding anything in Celestrak I looked in Space-Track. The following space-track.org query builder setup ...
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What caused so many objects in Earth orbit to "go NEA"? (no elements availabe)

T. S. Kelso tweeted the following, is this a case of lost and found? How can so many substantial objects become lost like this? The list of 23 objects "formerly known as Prince NEA" all seem ...
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Generating TLEs with STK Using SGP4 Propagator;

STK has two methods for generating TLEs; Trajectory Sampling method and Single Point method. I have read the differences both of them at http://help.agi.com/stk/index.htm#stk/tools-10.htm but I am ...
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Where is this LightSail-2 trajectory data coming from? Is there more than TLEs available to the public?

This tweet shows high granularity data for LightSail-2's perigee and apogee, showing that while the apogee-raising strategy is working nicely, currently atmospheric drag is taking its toll and the ...
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How can I "debounce" these TDRS satellite inclinations? (reconstruct the zero-crossings)

The plot below is from the question Why do the geosynchronous TDRS satellites have this distribution of inclinations?, and the explanation says Inclination and mean motion (rev/day) for TDRS ...
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Distance between GRACE-FO 1 and 2

I calculated the distance between the two satellites by propagating some TLEs with the SGP4. Here’s the result: the solid lines are for TLEs 19197.90524586 (GRACE-FO 1) / 19197.90551489 (GRACE-FO 2) ...
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Covariance matrix of a satellite position

In order to estimate the probability of collision with space debris, the covariance matrix of the primary and secondary objects should be calculated (JSPoC paper). I'm going to calculate the matrix ...
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How frequent do TLEs of LEO satellites change?

I was doing some MATLAB simulations on LEO satellites using TLEs obtained from n2yo websites and I observed that n2yo was displaying a different TLE for the same satellite after a few days. I don't ...
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Why does 2018-099 (SpaceX, December 2018) still have a dozen unidentified payloads?

According to today's Raw SATCAT Data from Celestrak, the launch designated 2018-099 (SpaceX, December 2018) still has twelve unidentified payload objects! ...
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Is TESS really lost? What does Celestrak mean exactly?

From this answer to the question What artificial satellite has the farthest orbit around the Earth?: I found the following "far out" spacecraft: TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite)...
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CSpOC’s identical TLEs

Identical TLEs are often published by CSpOC at https://www.space-track.org/. For example, here’s the first line of the three newest TLEs for IRNSS-1H: ...
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Who released pre-launch TLE data for the Space Shuttle?

The question Pre-launch TLEs for NASA launches asks: I was curious if the United States is on the verge of launching maned flights to the ISS, will anyone release Pre-Launch TLE data like was done ...
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Pre-launch TLEs for NASA launches

I was curious if the United States is on the verge of launching maned flights to the ISS, will anyone release Pre-Launch TLE data like was done back when the shuttle was flying.
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What is "OBJECT BS"?

I checked 2018-099 in Celestrak's satcat again for the question Where can I find the TLE of ExseedSat 1, India's first ever private LEO satellite? and noticed that ...
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What does it mean to ask for a date beyond epoch time?

I am fairly new to this industry. As I am playing around with a library on Python, ephem, I have encountered an error saying that: ...
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How to correctly make a fake, counter-propagating TLE?

In this answer I have said: Do not make FAKE TLEs! I would now like to make a fake TLE. Specifically I'd like to generate a counter-propagating "twin" of an orbit by flipping inclination by 180° ...
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Why the PRN obtained from Android is different from calculated by TLE

I want to use TLE data to calculate the azimuth and elevation of every GPS satellites at user's location. In order to verify the correctness of TLE calculation, I wrote an Android app that can be ...
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How would blockchain be integrated into spaceflight? Have any methods been proposed yet?

Blockchain offers a way of keeping track of information such that its authenticity can be verified and it can not easily be falsified. In a space environment with an increasing number of both active ...
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Differences between SGP8 and the standard SGP4? Is it ever used in practice?

The Wikipedia article Two Line Element Set says: The SGP4 model was later extended with corrections for deep space objects, creating SDP4, which used the same TLE input data. Over the years a ...
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Can the deactivated satellites also be tracked through TLE?

TLE is used to track whether the satellites are in orbit or not. However, is it possible that a particular satellite is deactivated, decommissioned or deorbited yet its TLE is being updated regularly?
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TLE/SGP4 state vector accuracy assessment

I’m using the Planet Labs state vectors downloadable from http://ephemerides.planet-labs.com/planet.states or http://ephemerides.planet-labs.com/planet_YYYYMMDD.states to assess the TLEs/SGP4 accuracy ...
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Why Celestrak has Archived TLEs for most space stations from Russia and the US, but not Tiangong-1, Tiangong-2 or Skylab?

Thinking about this question, I wanted to look at historical data. Then I noticed that while Celestrak does provide Archived TLE data for Salyut 7, Mir, Kvant-1, Kvant-2, Kristallm, Spektr, Priroda, ...
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How does the ISS Transit Finder website get the position of the ISS so accurately?

The recent Petapixel article How to Shoot the ISS Flying Across the Face of the Moon gives a lot of detailed, helpful advice for photographing transits of the ISS across the disk of the Moon. For ...
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Is SGP4 propagation necessarily more accurate near the epoch chosen for TLE generation?

This interesting answer includes a quote from Space-Track: From Space-Track.Org FAQ TLEs can contain future epochs. About 20 satellites are categorized as "multi-day objects" because ...
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Does this electronics box, or any other non-spacecraft released by astronauts have a TLE?

According to Space.com's 02-Feb-2018 article Cosmonauts Break Russian Spacewalk Record During Space Station Antenna Repair: The cosmonauts spent the day replacing an electronics box for a high-gain ...
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Are there publicly-available non-amateur sources of TLEs other than Space-Track?

As an amateur satellite tracker, and sometime reentry analyst, I am always anxious to get the newest tracking data for low-orbiting spacecraft. I have had to rely exclusively on Space-Track for the ...