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    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Mesa, AZ

    Default Imaging Geosynchronous Satellites with ACP

    This AppNote describes how to use ACP Expert's UserActions hooks, in combination with external Python code, to allow imaging geosynchronous satellites (geosats) without human intervention or stringent timing. Orbital elements (TLE) are automatically fetched from Space-Track as needed and cached locally. The application adds two new target types to ACP live observing plans: (1) stationary image(s) of a geosat field, (2) sidereally tracked image(s) of a geosat field (for subsequent photometry). These target types may be freely intermixed with conventional deep sky and solar system (orbital) targets in a single ACP live observing plan. All ACP timing, filter, binning, and repetition directives are supported for these two new target types. Also covered is useful info on providing and developing Python scripts on Windows including visual editing and debugging with Visual Studio 2015.

    The full (PDF) of the Application Note along with zipfiles containing the UserAction and Python script are attached. Please note that this will probably require tweaking for your specific system.

    1. Install Python for Windows on your system if needed
    2. Create a new directory My Documents\ACP Astronomy\SatObs\ and then a sub-directory My Documents\ACP Astronomy\SatObs\\TLECache\
    3. Unzip (attached) and put UserActionsGeosyncSatellites.wsc into C:\Program Files (x86)\ACP Obs Control\
    4. If you have a currently active UserActions with special code, you will need to merge your existing code into this new UserActions.
    5. Using the instructions in ACP Help, Customizing ACP, Adding to ACP's Logic, scroll down on that page to Activating UserActions, register the UserActionsGeosyncSatellites.wsc.
    6. Unzip (attached) and put into the My Documents\ACP Astronomy\SatObs\ directory
    7. Edit and search for "Spacetrack Credentials". Put your Space-Track username and password into the obvious places.
    8. Test the Python script by opening a CMD shell and setting the current directory to My Documents\ACP Astronomy\SatObs\ then typing
      ..> Python 28884 +30. The test may take 30 seconds to a minute the first time for that satellite. You should see a response azimuth,altitude. Now look to see that a file 28884.tle exists in the TLECache subdirectory.

    Now try it with ACP! Expect some issues. I will help as needed (up to a point ha ha).
    Attached Files Attached Files
    -- Bob



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