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ISS imaging

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#1 drknapper

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 09:09 PM

Does anyone know how one tracks and images the ISS?



#2 Jerry Lodriguss

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 09:35 PM

You can track any satellite with current orbital elements with many goto mounts if the motors can slew fast enough.

If you really want the ISS at high-resolution, you need a well polar aligned mount with a good multi-point pointing model.

Finally for the imaging its basically high-res lucky planetary imaging.

Its not what you would call a trivial undertaking.

Jerry

#3 drknapper

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 10:23 PM

I have the advanced AVX mount.  It can be moved fast, but I don't know about the orbital elements.  I just thought you could put it on a RA and Dec and take a movie when it past thru those coordinates. Then use software to generate an image.



#4 santafe retiree

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 11:07 PM

Mount control software for satellite imaging:

 

https://www.heavenscape.com/index.html

 

Only works with Meade and Celestron

 

Good luck!

 

Tom



#5 ButterFly

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 11:26 PM

I have the advanced AVX mount.  It can be moved fast, but I don't know about the orbital elements. 

Not fast enough, especially nowhere near zenith, which is where it's close enough to image well.  I ditched the AVX for a video head to visually track the ISS manually.



#6 t_image

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Posted 16 August 2019 - 12:39 AM

I have the advanced AVX mount.  It can be moved fast, but I don't know about the orbital elements.  I just thought you could put it on a RA and Dec and take a movie when it past thru those coordinates. Then use software to generate an image.

Lots of way to do it. The trick is figuring out what your willing to do based on your budget and equipment.

 

People have posted images via tracking it through almost the entire pass with a $10,000 mount that does most for you,

to others that have grabbed a few stills handheld with a camera with a 400mm lens.

People have handtracked with dobs only using the spotter scope, etc....

 

The more images you take across the Stations' pass, the more data you will have to work with.

 

The lie-in-wait method you describe is only good for a short few seconds of content, useful for a Lunar/Solar/Planetary transit.

 

Here's guy that wrote his own code and shows how the view of the ISS changes over the course of a pass.:

https://www.youtube....h?v=sclc5iDyWjE

 

Of course a fork mount is the most ideal design for ISS tracking,

but there is a trick with something like the AVX.

 

It takes some charting sophistication,

but what you do is determine ahead of time where the ISS will pass overhead from your location using the stars as landmarks.

Then you note the ALT/AZ, not RA, Dec. of those positions, since RA/DEC travels with the stars.

Then ahead-of time, you break all convention and set up your AVX in a way that will follow the high alt pass with only the RA approaching the meridian and just over.....(need to adjust away from latitude setting so the angle matches the RA path across the approach/pass path.

(since the max speed setting (9) won't keep up with a 90 degree Alt pass).

You determine how to set up the mount via like an hour (or plenty of time) ahead noting what stars are currently at the future pass Alt/AZ coordinates,

and making sure you can see those landmark stars in the center of view for their position at the current time (easy to be looking at a live view of Stellarium or other software)....

 

Lots of how-to threads on CN already.

Also the Solar system imaging and processing section of CN  is the best place for details on how-to...

Doing this well gives you both the open of toggle with hand controller and RA adjust as it approaches (also note you will have to toggle speed as it ramps up from  a slow rise over the horizon to speeding up towards the zenith....

OR you can just disengage the RA clutch and manually track it across.

 

I find it best to spot the ISS in wider FOV optics piggybacked to the main optics(like the spotting scope effect) so any mis-track mvoements can be more easily recovered than if I was trying to recover after it popped out of the long FL FOV...

 

Cheers!



#7 drknapper

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Posted 16 August 2019 - 08:16 PM

Thanks to all!




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