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Thread: Satellites outside the Clarke Belt

  1. #1
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    Satellites outside the Clarke Belt

    Have there been any hobbyist attempts to derive content from the non-equatorial inclined or polar orbit satellites? I am aware the satellites outside the Clarke Belt in recurring orbits will require both elevation and azimuth steering. I have not been able to find a site with info on these sats.


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    Quote Originally Posted by DefCon4 View Post
    Have there been any hobbyist attempts to derive content from the non-equatorial inclined or polar orbit satellites? I am aware the satellites outside the Clarke Belt in recurring orbits will require both elevation and azimuth steering. I have not been able to find a site with info on these sats.
    Well, if you're talking about regular TV type communications satellites, there aren't any polar orbit satellites. There are, from time to time sats that are in inclined orbits, but those seldom get inclined much more than 40 deg at the most, if I remember right, and I don't remember any of them actually having video on them if they were inclined more than about 6 or 7 deg. I think that they let them go inclined when they start to get low on fuel, and before they get completely out of fuel, they kick them out into a more distant orbit where they won't be in the way, and once they are out of fuel, they won't have any control over their solar panels or the direction of the antennas, so they aren't of much use.
    The ones that are inclined are usually so indicated on Lyngsat. For example, they list Echo-4 as inclined now, but it's sitting in the same slot as Echo-8, so it's hard to tell when you're viewing Echo-4 and when you're viewing Echo-8. There are also a couple South American sats listed as inclined. If they are inclined more than a degree, you'll probably need a tracking program to tell you when the equator crossing times will be, if you can't track your dish.

    Relative to non-communications sats that are high inclination LEO sats, there is also some occasional slow scan TV to be found coming from the ISS, but this is more like a series of still pictures. Whenever I've monitored them, it was just test screens, but I used to collect nice pictures from the old MIR space station. Also, there are APT style NOAA weather transmissions in the 137-138 MHz range. Not quite "video" but kind of neat to receive.

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    Molniya orbit, and others:

    Not sure if you care, but the Russian orbital trick is fascinating.
    [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molniya_orbit"]Molniya orbit - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia@@AMEPARAM@@/wiki/File:Text_document_with_red_question_mark.svg" class="image"><img alt="Text document with red question mark.svg" src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a4/Text_document_with_red_question_mark.svg/40px-Text_document_with_red_question_mark.svg.png"@@AMEPARAM@@commons/thumb/a/a4/Text_document_with_red_question_mark.svg/40px-Text_document_with_red_question_mark.svg.png[/ame]

    Also, the HAM radio world has had orbiting satellites for decades.
    A quick Google search should find the appropriate sites.
    Some of my buddies tracked and talked through them, but I was never interested in that corner of the hobby.
    Straight Talk on AT&T iPhone 4, iOS 5.0.1, BB 3.10.01.
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    Hi all, there are also ham radio satellites in low earth orbit (LEO) that are racing by at all times of the day and night. They have a very small footprint because they are so low and are moving very fast in relation to the surface of the earth. With a laptop and special software they can be tracked and found. I have managed in the past using nothing more then a small hand held beam antenna and a hand held radio to pick up voice contacts from these satellites. Some even have packet radio on them and pictures and other digital content can be pulled from them.

    Because of the fast movement these satellites have considerable Doppler shift and are hard to stay locked on to with simple receivers. Special receivers for this type of operation are almost required.

    If you want to learn more google "ham radio amsat"

    Later, DC

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    Where BJ seemed to be going...

    OP, could we talk a little more specific? -- like a type of bird to look at or some frequency of interest...

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    BJ: Thanks, I wasn't aware of what the notations on Lyngsat meant for ES4 and the 3 sats that service the Southern Hemisphere. As it states ES4's present inclined orbit to be -0.86 degrees with a max of 1.87, it must be a wobbly or skewed orbit that causes undependable reception for the DN-Mexico subscribers. Just as I started scanning the DX SWL airwaves years ago with a GCR, I thought it might be neat to chase some non-CBelt sats for some interesting content, but I'm not sure a multi-format video receiver is available for the hobbyist.

    I just checked out NOAA APT, and it seems to be wide-band FM radiofacsimile which a much wanted ICOM can handle. I'll be spending some time at the HF-Fax website. I'll also be looking for software and hardware interfaces for controlling/powering both azimuth and elevation actuators on a C-dish.


    Anole: Thanks, I find the Russian approach to advantaging the apogee dwell most innovative. Galileo and Kepler should be happy.


    DC: Thanks for the link to amsat. I've been away from ARRL and QST for decades, but old interests are coming back.


    Guapo: I tinker with RF and related hardware. I consider most processed TV content to be a waste of time, so I don't watch much. I do, however, spend some time investigating out-of-box approaches to satellite reception. I am not looking for any specific sat.

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