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Seeking Linux Software Testers



Hi Folks!

I'm about ready to release my latest version of PREDICT for Linux in a
short while, and was wondering if anyone would be up to the challenge of
testing the program and providing some feedback before I make a formal
release of the software.  There are still some issues I need to work on
(such as writing documentation -- probably in HTML, and making the program
easier for first-time users to set up their QTH and orbital data files),
but I hope to have these issues resolved shortly.

The major features of PREDICT V2.0 include:

* Fully year 2000 compliant.

* Designed under the Linux operating system to permit operation on a
  wide and expanding variety of hardware platforms ranging from palmtops
  to supercomputers (including 32-bit PCs (80386s or better) and Macintosh
  PowerPCs).

* Open source licensing allows anyone to contribute new features to
  the program while forever keeping the software, and any derivative
  works, non-proprietary and freely available.

* A *FAST* orbital prediction mode that predicts in advance passes of
  satellites and provides dates, times, coordinates, slant range distances,
  and sunlight and optical visibility information.  Predictions are
  displayed in tabular form and may be saved to a log file for later
  reference or printing.

* A real-time tracking mode that provides dynamic information such as
  sub-satellite point, groundstation azimuth and elevation headings,
  doppler shift, path loss, slant range, orbital altitude, orbital velocity,
  footprint diameter, orbital phase, the time and date of the next AOS
  (or LOS of the current pass), orbit number, and sunlight and visibility
  information for a single satellite, while at the same time providing
  live azimuth and elevation headings for both the sun and moon.

* A multi-tracking mode that provides sub-satellite point, azimuth and
  elevation headings, and slant range distance information for all 24
  satellites in the program's current database on a real-time basis.
  Azimuth and elevation headings for the sun and moon are also provided,
  as a well as a listing of the AOS dates and times for the next three
  satellites expected to come into range of the groundstation.

* Provides static information such as semimajor axis of ellipse,
  apogee and perigee altitudes, and anomalistic and nodal periods of
  satellite orbits.

* Command line options permit alternate groundstation locations to be
  used or alternate orbital databases to be read and processed by the
  program, effectively allowing an UNLIMITED number of satellites to be
  tracked and managed.  Additional options allow any orbital database
  file to be automatically updated using NASA Two-Line element data
  obtained via the Internet or via pacsat satellite without having
  to enter the program and manually select menu options to update
  the database.

* A voice mode allows live azimuth and elevation headings of a satellite
  to be articulated to an observer to assist in locating a satellite by
  optical means.

You'll need a C compiler (gcc 2.7.2 works -- I haven't tied egcs), and
ncurses to build the program.  A soundcard will be needed for the voice
mode (add a low-power transmitter and have the program tell you where to
find Mir in the evening sky!)

Screenshots are available at: http://www.njin.net/~magliaco/software.html

I'm also interested in how well the software compiles and runs on OSes
other than Linux (such as SunOS, FreeBSD, etc.)

Thanks!


73, de John, KD2BD

--
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- John A. Magliacane, KD2BD -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Internet  : kd2bd@amsat.org          |  Voice : +1.732.224.2948
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Packet    : KD2BD @ N2SMV.NJ.USA.NA  |  WWW   : http://www.njin.net/~magliaco/
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-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Linux Doesn't Cost.  It Pays. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

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