Satellite TLE Challenge Begins

Dnepr Launch November 21, 2013 - Credit ISC Kosmotras

Dnepr Launch November 21, 2013 – Credit ISC Kosmotras

This week has seen deployments from the ISS, a Minotaur-1 and a Dnepr of an estimated 34 satellites carrying amateur radio payloads along with a number of commercial and research satellites.

After a launch the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) issue the Keplerian Two Line Element Set which can be used to determine the position and velocity of the associated satellite. CelesTrak make this information available and the file for launches in the past 30 days is available here.

After a new launch this file will list the ID’s of the objects that NORAD have detected. These objects can be parts of the rocket body as well as the satellites. The challenge in the days after launch is to work out which object ID’s correspond to which satellites.

On the AMSAT Bulletin Board (AMSAT-BB) Nico Janssen PA0DLO has posted an overview of the presently known IDs for the satellites that were launched between November 19-21.

ISS JSSOD Cubesat launches
2013-11-19 12:18 UTC
39412 1998-067DA  Pico Dragon ?
39413 1998-067DB  ArduSat 1 ?
39414 1998-067DC  ArduSat X ?
To be confirmed when the objects have more separation.
2013-11-20 07:58 UTC
39415 1998-067DD  TechEdSat 3P

Minotaur 1, Wallops Flight Facility
2013-11-20 01:15 UTC
ORS3 & ELaNa 4: 29 satellites
So far only 4 TLEs published. No IDs yet but probably:
39380 2013-064A  STPSat 3

Dnepr, Yasny
2013-11-21 07:10:11 UTC
32 satellites
19 TLEs published
39417 2013-066B  FUNcube 1
39427 2013-066M  Triton 1
39428 2013-066N  Delfi-n3Xt

Note that all designations may change later on.


Keplerian Two Line Elements (TLEs or ‘Keps’):
• New satellites launched in past 30 days
• CubeSats
• Experimental satellites
• Engineering satellites
• Amateur radio satellites

NORAD Two-Line Element Set Format

ISS CubeSats

Minotaur-1 ELaNa-4 launch

Dnepr Yasny launch