[Server-sky] NORAD TLE's (5)

Keith Lofstrom keithl at kl-ic.com
Wed Apr 8 04:30:47 UTC 2009

On Mon, Apr 06, 2009 at 04:41:48PM -0700, Tony Rick wrote:
> I put some code on the server-sky wiki at
> ServerSky->OrbitsV01->EarthOrbits->OrbitSoftware->SxP4TestPatch.
> I have an app that reads 3-line TLEs, feeds them to the orbit
> extractor, and uses the result to predict the ascending node altitude.
> I need to beef it up to  include the descending node.  I have been
> retrieving the all-data sets from Space-Track for about two weeks.

I am looking for something that can help me grind through an /entire
catalog/ of 3 line elements and return an array of structs, or at
least one by one, with each struct containing all the useful data
per TLE.  I will then call something like "next struct" to get the
next interpreted TLE.  So, among other things, I am looking for a
robust parser that does not assume that the catalog is 3N lines
and that all the fields are well behaved.

I expect to ignore most of the entries in the struct, but I need
enough to define the orbit ellipse (in kilometers, not radii) so
I can transform it.  I also need the names, so I can decide whether
they are active or debris or whatnont.  I can't see how to do that
with the code in the norad directory - perhaps that is merely because
I don't understand C++ well enough to quickly read it, and because
there is very little documentation for the methods.

I get the impression that the library is oriented around ground
observation, not defining orbits in 3d space.

Help me see the error of my ways .  Otherwise, I am tempted to
do my parsing in Perl, where I know how to take apart a catalog
easily, delivering a rigid one-line ascii output for a C++ program
to handle.


Keith Lofstrom          keithl at keithl.com         Voice (503)-520-1993
KLIC --- Keith Lofstrom Integrated Circuits --- "Your Ideas in Silicon"
Design Contracting in Bipolar and CMOS - Analog, Digital, and Scan ICs

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