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Re: Element Suppresion



Dave - Did you  see this? - Kerry -

Sounds to me like the government thinks its too easy to find certain
satellites!!! Maybe the next thing will be shutting down  the GPS satellites to
the public!!
                                                                       73, Tom

BEK Developers wrote:

> Here's some info on the suppression of elements by USSPACECOM:
>
> NEWS AND COMMENT by Dave Ransom
>
> mailto:rans7500@spacelink.nasa.gov
>
> [Reposted from the RPV Astronomy BBS @ (520) 282-5559]
>
> 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.
>
> 23 MAR 99  My sources report that USSPACECOM has completed suppressing
>            TLEs from their "hit list" and that no more TLEs should be
>            doing a disappearing act. My contact continues "... there is
>            now a feeling of paranoia in releasing anything for operating
>            DOD satellites, even the Navstars which are used for civilian
>            purposes". I fear the GPS TLEs are gone for good ...
>
> 22 MAR 99  I have received unofficial confirmation that the suppression
>            of GPS and DMSP TLEs at NASA/GSFC Orbital Information Group
>            is the result of a policy change at US Space Command. I (and
>            others) view this as a most unfortunate precedent. Not only
>            is it a stupid decision -- more accurate orbital data for the
>            GPS satellites can be obtained with a GPS receiver -- but it
>            denies unclassified data to satellite users and the general
>            public, data which is paid for by the American taxpayer. GPS
>            and DMSP TLEs are suppressed now, what next?
>
>            This policy change should not be allowed to stand unchallenged.
>            I suggest that satellite users and those interested in satellite
>            tracking write to Congress demanding that it be reversed. It may
>            even take the Freedom of Information Act to apply some real
>            pressure on USSPACECOM. Those individuals in the SeeSat-L forum
>            are welcome to repeat my comments.
>
> 19 MAR 99  GSFC/OIG has deleted all trace of GPS satellites from their
>            on-line database accessible to registered users. This appears
>            to be a permanent policy change from USSPACECOM, unfortunately.
>
>            I have implemented new TLE processing software which checks
>            the age of TLEs posted in my TLEnnn.ZIP, GSFCnnn.ZIP and
>            TLyymmdd.ZIP files. TLEs are deleted which are more than 21
>            to 60 days old as a function of Mean Motion; LEO satellites
>            are dropped at 21 days and GEO satellites at 60 days with
>            other orbits falling in between those two limits.
>
>            The GSFC/OIG TLEs for today were processed with the new
>            software and quite a few TLEs were dropped, some dating back
>            as far as 1968! I hardly think TLEs of that age are of much
>            value to anyone. Comments invited.
>
> 16 MAR 99  USSPACECOM has apparently decided to discontinue distributing
>            current TLEs for all GPS satellites and a number of other
>            satellites. GSFC/OIG reports "No elements available" and TS
>            Kelso's current data includes TLEs that are at least 10 days
>            old. Unless the situation is corrected, I will stop including
>            these TLEs in the data I distribute rather than continue to
>            post outdated data.
>
>            There has been no explanation for this change in policy. I
>            fail to understand the rationale behind it since the basic
>            orbital data for GPS satellites are included in the data that
>            is transmitted to GPS receivers continuously. Any skilled
>            "potential adversary" could easily obtain the data. Only the
>            rest of us are denied the information.
> ----
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********************
Kerry Banke
kbanke@qualcomm.com
Qualcomm Inc.
Voice - (619) 658-3318
FAX - (619) 651-1988
Pager (text) kbanke@pager@qualcomm.com
pager - 619-636-0273
Office Location R-202D

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