SkyView Allows Tracking Of "Observer" List?

All - I have been using Orbitrack but it oddly does not include some satellites (USA 290 is an example) and the developer (Tim DeBenedictis) and web site do not return email. Is it time to move on? Does SkyView include the Observer list?

I wrote to the SkyView developers but no response yet…

Charles

Hi Charles - Could you clarify what you mean by the Observer list?

Thanks,
Kim

Kim - The “classified” list that is available from Mike McCants. Like USA 281, USA 247, USA 290.

Charles

Thanks @CharlesHouston. OrbiTrack’s site claims it includes “classified military satellites,” but it sounds like it doesn’t (or is incomplete). SkyView doesn’t currently list classified satellites.

So until we can build a similar mobile app experience that includes unlisted satellites, we’ll have to rely on sites like Heavens Above (for objects like USA 290 that it happens to list) and desktop software that can read the TLEs that Mike McCants provides.

Mike -

Orbitrack must get it’s satellites from Heaven’s Above vice CelesTrak - HA has the “observer” list and CelesTrak does not.

We do track many of the “classified” satellites - probably a more accurate term is “off the books” - many of those who have orbital parameters that are NOT available from Space Track. The Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) was not available from Space Track for a long time but they are hardly intelligence gathering satellites. A number of the actual intelligence gathering satellites we do NOT track.

Then there are the odd ones like SensorSat - it is not an intel satellite but it is one of the “off the books” satellites. We are tracking that one.

I will try to track USA 290 with Heaven’s Above - I tried to contact Tim DeBenedictis to ask about Orbitrack but he has not answered email.

Charles

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Mike -

Here is an idea! Why don’t you contact the Air Force and ask for the TLEs for all classified objects? That would make it easier to track them.

Charles
jk

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I tracked down why Orbitrack was not showing some significant satellites and found a fix. Now I am working to expand the satellites that Orbitrack supports.

Charles

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It turns out that Orbitrack gets its TLEs from N2YO, and the developer there (Chip) is pretty good about answering email. N2YO gets TLEs from Celestrak but of course that site does not recognize the Observer list. So I got Chip to add some satellites to the “Brightest” category manually.

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