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Re: Antennas on the bird

>  > I'd say a more important question is, can it swing fast enough to
>>  track an object moving as fast as AO-40 is at perigee?  Most
>>  astronomical tracking drives can't follow sats in LEO, and AO-40 is
>>  going a *lot* faster when it hits LEO-like altitudes.
>It's moving faster, but the angular change (which is what matters) is slower.
>I use AO-10 as an example.  A perigee pass is 3 to 5 times longer 
>than any pass
>of the LEOs.  Still may not be able to track it however...

OK, I guess I thought the perigee was lower.  Still an awful fast 
angular rate for an astronomical mount though .. the NSA had some 
dishes that could swing that fast, but astronomy units have much more 
gear reduction for better pointing accuracy.  Plus, a big 
astronomical reflector telescope would have a lot of mass to move 
around .. I'd say direct visual observation even with adaptive optics 
would be a pretty tall order.

Now .. if they could task *Hubble* for this .. ;-) .. just kidding, I 
think the best look we'd get would be from something that could 
rendezvous with the satellite and do some inspection passes with a 
camera ..

                  --... ...--  -.. .  -. ..... ...- -...
              Bruce Bostwick  N5VB  Austin, TX  Grid EM10DH
     ARRL / UT ARC / Austin ARC / Travis Co. ARES / W5YI Vol. Examiner
    http://ccwf.cc.utexas.edu/~lihan/  mailto:lihan@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu
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