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Home Up Scope mods AS Entries Mini-review of MC90

Autostar - Manual Input of Satellite data 

1)  Visit www.heavens-above.com

2)  Enter your location.  Accuracy does count - Use MSN's Terraserver to find your location, then click one the "image info" link.  This leads you to a grid with the latitude and longitude imposed.

3)  Get the Satellite data. For this example, I'll use the ISS.  You can find other satellites in Heaven's Above satellite database - Use the name, ID, or launch year.  For the ISS, you have a few alternate ways to get to the orbital data:

a)  Use the direct link:  ISS orbital data.

b)  Use the Heaven's Above satellite database

c)  Use the Celestrak database.

Because NASA makes many adjustments to the ISS' orbit, you'll need these numbers for each session.  Here is the ISS orbital data as listed for June 4, 2002 on Heaven's Above:

1 25544U 98067A   02155.77474453  .00030828  00000-0  37266-3 0  5291

2 25544  51.6356 115.3170 0006498 150.8378 281.1957 15.60410749202098

Epoch (UTC):
6:35:38 PM, Tuesday, June 04, 2002
Eccentricity:
0.0006498
Inclination:
51.6356
Perigee Height:
382 km
Apogee Height:
391 km
Right Ascension of Ascending Node:
115.3170
Argument of Perigee:
150.8378
Revolutions per Day:
15.60410749
Mean Anomaly at Epoch:
281.1957
Orbit Number at Epoch:
20209

4)  Power up Autostar and go to Object>Satellite>Select[enter]Use the scroll keys to see if the ISS is in the list.

If it is there, then use the Edit function (scroll up from Select) and go to Step 5.

If it's not in the list, then [mode] back up until you're seeing Satellite>Select. Now press scroll-down, and you'll see Add[enter].  Then enter Name: ISS and go to Step 5.

5)  Enter Data.  The most common format is the two-line data set and here is the ISS data set from Heavens-Above for June 2, 2002:

1 25544U 98067A 02155.77474453 .00030828 00000-0 37266-3 0 5291
2 25544 51.6356 115.3170 0006498 150.8378 281.1957 15.60410749202098

The Autostar asks for the data inin this order:
  1. Epoch year - 02155.77474453 = 2002
  2. Epoch day - 02155.77474453 = 155.7747
  3. Inclination = 51.6356
  4. RA Asc. Node = 115.3170
  5. Eccentricity = 0006498 - enter as 0.000650
  6. Arg. of Perigee = 150.8378
  7. Mean Anomaly = 281.1957
  8. Mean Motion = 15.60410749

** Round the entries as needed.  You will need to truncate and/or round up some of the numbers to fit them in the Autostar.

Thanks to Dick Seymour for the info on converting the data!