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Tracking accuracy

I have seen some discussion here concerning the accuracy of one tracking
program versus another.  From my observations, there is no appreciable
difference in the accuracy of them.  For a good test you must be using the
same keps, PCs set exactly to the same time, PCs beginning their
calculations on a given "look" simultaneously and displaying the results
simultaneously.  If you want to see the results of not adhering to this
latter requirement, run the same program in two different windows on the
same PC and let them not be synchronized.  You can get as much as a degree
difference in displayed output for the same satellite on the same PC with
the same tracking program.

You can do this same test by putting the same satellite in the tracking
program twice, but under different names, catalog number, etc. and having
the same keps.  In those programs capable of displaying multiple satellites
at the same time you will sometimes find them differing also.

So, unless you have a large difference, then this talk of which is the best
tracking program from an accuracy standpoint is like measuring a mud hole
with a micrometer.  On the other hand if you have a large difference then I
would suspect something in the setup of the program, not its accuracy.

73, Roy

Internet: w0sl@amsat.org
Home Page: http://home.swbell.net/rdwelch
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