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TLE Orbital Model Change?



FYI,

David Ransom (of STSPLUS fame) has reported that there may be a change
made to the orbital models used to generate TLE data, which could render
all current satellite tracking/orbital prediction software obsolete.

According to ftp://tie.jpl.nasa.gov/pub/dransom/current.data/flash.txt:

31 MAR 99  Reliable sources inform me that USSPACECOM would like to
           change the orbital model used for all TLEs and do NOT plan
           to release the code for their new "Special Perturbations"
           model. Since the "General Perturbations" model, SGP4/SDP4,
           is used in STSPLUS and most other satellite tracking programs,
           such a change would render that software all but useless
           except for historical purposes. I'll continue to track the
           situation and post Bulletins on my RPV BBS and FLASH.TXT on
           my Home Page as I learn more.

Does anyone have any more information that could confirm this?


73, de John, KD2BD

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