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Re: What is a good tracking pgm?



At 09:04 AM 9/16/2001 -0700, laura halliday wrote:
>Allen Fugelseth <allen@cruzio.com> wrote:
>>I want to pick a good satellite tracking program.
>
>They're all good. They're all accurate (what *really*
>matters), since they implement the same orbital models
>and use the same input data.

That's a reasonable approximation of the truth, but not precisely true. 
Many of the programs still in use implement a simplified version of the 
official model. InstantTrack, for instance. Others use the full model, 
which may or may not make them better at propagating old elements. Some 
even have a configuration option to switch between the two models. The 
bottom line is that it doesn't really matter if your elements are 
reasonably fresh.

It's also true that some programs have bugs in the implementation of the 
orbital model. I have heard reports that make me believe that WiSP is among 
those programs, unfortunately, but I haven't confirmed that.

>Since they're also all available as free trials,

This is most definitely NOT true, unless you count unauthorized bootleg 
downloads. InstantTrack and QuikTrak, for instance, have no demo versions.

73  -Paul
kb5mu@amsat.org

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