[amsat-bb] Re: Multiple satellite launches

John Fickes kc0bmf at gmail.com
Mon Nov 25 08:36:58 PST 2013

  The following link is of Picodragon and 2 other satellites being released
or launched. There is a picture and short video.

                      73 John   KC0BMF

On Mon, Nov 25, 2013 at 9:54 AM, Robert Bruninga <bruninga at usna.edu> wrote:

> Ø  When there is a launch of several satellites in a single payload,
> several cubesats for example,  I assume they release each at
> different locations on the deployer trajectory.  Preliminary keps are based
> on the trajectory when each is released?
> Ø  Otherwise if they were released all at once, how would NORAD know which
> is which?
> Doesn’t much matter when they are released, they still are all in the same
> orbit more or less for quite a while.  Even if the springs release them at
> 1/2 meter per second, they are all going at 7000 meters per second so it
> takes days for them to separate very much.
> Let’s see,  at ½ meter per second separation, then they are 100’ apart
> after the first minute, 1 mile after the first hour.  And not until they
> are a few miles apart can NORAD distinguish them enough to start getting
> good tracks on them.  By then it is impossible to know which is which.
> Hence the guessing game until each owner decides which object best fits his
> downlink experience.
> Continuing on, they will be 24 miles apart after the first day where they
> will be about 5 seconds apart when tracked from the ground.  After a week,
> then maybe 175 miles and ½ minute apart.  After a month, maybe 750 miles
> and 2 minutes apart.  After a year, maybe 9000 miles and 30 minutes apart.
> And finally, after about a year and a half, they will be half an orbit or
> about 45 minutes apart, beyond which, they start getting closer again…
> Something like that unless I screwed up…
> Bob
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