This week the following satellites have been renamed:
- PSAT is now NO-84
- BRICKSAT-P is now NO-83
These satellites have been renamed by AMSAT OSCAR Number Administrator Bill
On another issue, Cal Poly posts a set of KEPs in TLE (Two Line Elements)
format for the 10 cubesat objects launched on 5-20-2015 from a military
ATLAS 5 rocket. They are listed as ULTRASat-1 through ULTRASat-10.
ULTRASat-7, on this list, is commonly accepted as the correct set of KEP for
LightSail-A. The NORAD ID number for the ULTRASat-7 TLEs can be inferred by
order of it's number (7th object) as 40658. But the satellite name
"LightSail" is listed on the SpaceTrack website as 40661 which is
ULTRASat-10 whose TLEs are commonly used for BRICSat-P. So there is a bit of
confusion as to the correct NORAD ID # to be used. Welcome to the world of
launches with multiple cubesats!
Let me clarify some background points:
1. When a satellite is launched from a rocket with a military primary
payload (the military is paying for the launch) SpaceTrack will only release
the TLEs to the owner or administrator of the non-miltary satellite.
2. The owner or administrator has to then redistribute the KEPs to the
amateur radio community if they want amateurs to use their satellite. This
is essentially the same process that AMSAT uses to bring the KEPs to you.
Each year AMSAT has to request permission to distribute the KEPs in TLE
format to you. For LightSail-A Cal Poly is distributing the TLEs for the
3. The withholding of the KEPs for military launches is an old law or
regulation (re-enforced by the 911 event) that SpaceTrack must follow.
4. SpaceTrack thru Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC)and other intities
supply and manage the KEPs in TLE format and JSpOC is responsible for
assigning all NORAD ID # specifically to each object.
5. The owner or administrator is responsible for informing JSpOC which
object is their satellite. Many times it is the amateur radio community that
assists in the identification process, but it is JSpOC that assigns the
NORAD ID #.
What this means is that we may need to change the ID # for Lightsail-A
and/or BRICSat-P. Since LightSail will de-orbit soon, its NORAD ID # may
soon be a moot point. But, the de-orbit of LightSail-A will further help us
resolve this issue. BRICSAT-P will be with us for some time and we may need
to change it's NORAD ID#. At any rate, AMSAT will continue to use
SpaceTrack as the reference for naming and determining the NORAD ID #.
To conclude, please be assured that the TLEs associated with LightSat-A and
BRICSat-P are the correct in the AMSAT KEPs Distribution. There is
consensus from several groups on the TLEs. It is the NORAD ID # that may
change. So point your antennas with confidence and have fun!
Thanks to Nico Janssen, PA0DLO for technical and information support.