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Author Topic: ISS Pass Info  (Read 6916 times)
N8XI
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Posts: 118




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« on: October 03, 2013, 08:21:57 AM »

I have checked a few Websites for ISS Pass Predictions.
But, there are some conflicting information e.g. dates and time.

Those that have been able to hook up with ISS on 2M FM,
what have you used (from the internet) that does a good job?

73, Rick - N8XI
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K6LCS
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Posts: 1498


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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2013, 09:30:00 AM »

Use any of the programs (some free!) or the two online sites (AMSAT-NA or Heavens Above) cited on the
TRACKING page at ...

http://www.work-sat.com

If using a program, get into the habit of updating your Keplerian data weekly ... especially if
you’re thinking of working the ISS - since its orbit is repositioned often.

On that page you will find links to ...

Commercial Programs ...
Nova for Windows - $60
PocketSat+ for Palm, Pocket PC - $25
PocketSat3 for iPhone, touch, iPad - $25
MacDoppler  - $80-100
SATPC32 - $45-50
GPREDICT - Linux / Mac OS / more - free
HamSatDROID - free for now ...
SATme for many Blackberrys - $15
GoSatWatch - iPhone/touch/iPad - $10

Online FREE Tracking Info ...
AMSAT - Adjust pass times for GMT!
Heavens Above - Chris Peat’s site

Keplerian Elements - AMSAT-NA updates these Keplerian data files weekly. Offered are
NASA (2-line), AMSAT (verbose), bare NASA, and .pdb (Palm) versions!

Tom W9KE has written another great sat tracker program - Satellite Explorer Pro - for iOS 6.1+.

Clint K6LCS
909-241-7666
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Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.k6lcs.com
K6LCS
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« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2013, 09:35:03 AM »

>> ... Those that have been able to hook up with ISS on 2M FM ...

Do not expect to actually speak with an astronaut easily. But you can certainly track/monitor and
decode packet from the ISS!

To actually work an astronaut is a multi-faceted project ...

-they usually work on GMT time

-you need to check each involved country's ISS schedule for their astronauts to
check for free time, or ham radio ops

-the ISS has to be flying overhead

It is quite rare to catch an astronaut with spare time - and unannounced working the
ham radios.

BUT - packet is there, and is up most of the time. And you can monitor the public downlink
when we have our ARISS school contacts in your region.

Clint K6LCS
http://www.work-sat.com
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Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.k6lcs.com
KU4UV
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Posts: 375




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« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2013, 08:59:05 PM »

I have been a ham since 1992.  Only ever heard one of the astronauts onboard the ISS talking live with another ham once.  There was a shuttle launch one night in November of 2002, the last shuttle mission before the Columbia accident.  I watched the shuttle launch live on CNN, and then about an hour later, I saw the ISS pass almost directly overhead here in Kentucky.  I stepped out on the patio of my apartment with my Icom HT and heard them talking to a ham on the ground about the shuttle launch.  That was pretty cool.  Never heard them on voice since then, but I hear the packet station quite a bit.

73,
KU4UV
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W6RMK
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Posts: 649




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« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2013, 04:27:00 PM »

One thing to be aware of with ISS is that unlike most other satellites, the orbit changes a lot (altitude/semimajor axis.. inclination doesn't change) and relatively frequently.  At work we do radio science experiments transmitting and receiving from JPL directly to ISS as it goes overhead, and it's not unusual to have substantial changes in the pass times  overnight.  That is we use the latest keplerians on Monday to predict Tuesday's events, and by Tuesday, the time when we expect to see ISS has changed by tens of seconds if not minutes.

They also do things like change the ISS attitude, which changes the drag, so it's not just reboosts, etc.  Since we don't use Shuttle any more, they are flying ISS higher, which means that the drag isn't as high, and they don't reboost as often.

http://www.heavens-above.com/IssHeight.aspx
has a nice plot, and you can see they just did a 3km boost from around 415 to around 419 km.  That works out to about 5-6 seconds per orbit revolution, and since station does 15 revs/day, a predict that's a day old is going to be more than a minute off.

Station's not above the horizon very long (10 minutes is a LONG pass) so if you're using a predict that's a week old (e.g. AMSAT-NA), you could completely miss the pass.
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K6LCS
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« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2013, 09:19:36 PM »

Great info ... During my ARISS project last April, we asked Flight Engineer Donald Pettit specifically that question: How often do you re-position your orbit? And for just working packet or monitoring ARISS contacts, the weekly AMSAT-NA Keplerian data has been ok for me. But if I were to be organizing a contact with the ISS - or working an event - I'd certainly make sure I was up-to-to-moment for the data!

Great post. My wife and I enjoyed the public open house at JPL two years ago!

Clint K6LCS
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Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.k6lcs.com
KU4UV
Member

Posts: 375




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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2013, 05:08:07 PM »

I have checked a few Websites for ISS Pass Predictions.
But, there are some conflicting information e.g. dates and time.

Those that have been able to hook up with ISS on 2M FM,
what have you used (from the internet) that does a good job?

73, Rick - N8XI

I personally use the tracking data from Heaven's Above for all of my ISS and ham satellite passes.  I find it is usually dead-on accurate, as we had a direct overhead pass of ISS a few nights ago, and it was right on schedule with what Heaven's Above predicted, maybe to within about 3 or 4 minutes.
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W6RMK
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Posts: 649




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« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2013, 05:34:40 PM »


I personally use the tracking data from Heaven's Above for all of my ISS and ham satellite passes.  I find it is usually dead-on accurate, as we had a direct overhead pass of ISS a few nights ago, and it was right on schedule with what Heaven's Above predicted, maybe to within about 3 or 4 minutes.


That is a HUGE timing error for a pass that only lasts 10 minutes.  I'm surprised heavens-above was that far off, assuming you checked the website the same day as the pass. Or are you thinking 3-4 seconds off, which is more typical, although quite large, unless there was a significant orbit change between the predict and the event.

Heavens-above is changing their interface a bit, in the last week.  It's remarkably slower for me than it was, but hopefully this is a transitional thing.
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K6LCS
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« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2013, 05:53:24 PM »

I have never been disappointed with AMSAT-NA's Keplerian data, updated every Thursday. As recently as a half-hour ago, it accurately showed me the ISS as I monitored its digital downlink on 145.825.

 
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Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.k6lcs.com
N8XI
Member

Posts: 118




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« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2013, 08:25:47 AM »

Thanks for the info all.

I have been using heavens-above and doing a copy and paste into a spread sheet.

It worked well, as I am also into amateur astronomy.

A science teacher in a nearby school had an observing session for his students and others.

The "chart" I put together was accurate and many were able to see ISS flyover the site we were at Friday night.

I will be trying to listen and look for ISS on future passes.

73, Rick - N8XI 

 
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2013, 10:45:19 AM »

I have been a ham since 1992.  Only ever heard one of the astronauts onboard the ISS talking live with another ham once.  There was a shuttle launch one night in November of 2002, the last shuttle mission before the Columbia accident.  I watched the shuttle launch live on CNN, and then about an hour later, I saw the ISS pass almost directly overhead here in Kentucky.  I stepped out on the patio of my apartment with my Icom HT and heard them talking to a ham on the ground about the shuttle launch.  That was pretty cool.  Never heard them on voice since then, but I hear the packet station quite a bit.

73,
KU4UV

Here is my QSL from a 15 Oct 2011 contact.  The ISS was listening for Scout, JOTA stations.  I was on the radio at our JOTA site and heard him when he came over the horizon.  Not a Scout in sight and no other JOTA takers so, I responded and made the QSO.  This was a low pass and the contact was made using a vertical antenna.
http://www.kg4rul.info/ISS_QSL_Front.jpg
http://www.kg4rul.info/ISS_QSL_Back.jpg
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