Author Topic: Tracking Balloon  (Read 2843 times)

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Offline Divya Shankar

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Tracking Balloon
« on: February 22, 2016, 01:01:17 PM »
Hello,

 I am new to using telescopes. I want to use telescope to track high altitude balloon. Can I use satellite tracker for it? Is there an option to real time update of RA,DEC of balloon and slew telescope with those co-ordinates? Can someone here please help me with this and suggest any compatible drivers/software.

Many Thanks in advance

Regards
Divya

Offline John Eccles

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Re: Tracking Balloon
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2016, 03:04:51 PM »
Divya,

Satellite Tracker cannot track a balloon since the balloon does not have corresponding orbital elements (TLE data) since a balloon is on its own trajectory steered by wind currents, drag, etc.. In order to track a balloon one must have a tracking system setup to track an object via object detection via video and a tracking algorithm based on alpha-beta, kalman filtering, or other methods. These methods detect an object's video footprint, determine speed and direction during the acquisition phase, then "track predictions" and "tracking" during the tracking phase with the capability to coast the tracking algorithm should video be temporarily lost or corrupted. During these phases the telescope motion is adjusted to keep the video footprint in the center of the field of view.

I hope this helps.

« Last Edit: February 22, 2016, 03:06:37 PM by John Eccles »
Regards, John Eccles, Owner of Satellite Tracker Application, the Satellite Tracker Forum, and the Yahoo Groups called Satellite Tracker

Offline Scott Ferguson

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Re: Tracking Balloon
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2016, 11:26:47 PM »
Hello,

 I am new to using telescopes. I want to use telescope to track high altitude balloon. Can I use satellite tracker for it? Is there an option to real time update of RA,DEC of balloon and slew telescope with those co-ordinates? Can someone here please help me with this and suggest any compatible drivers/software.

Many Thanks in advance

Regards
Divya
I'm developing some software that would be of use for tracking high altitude balloons, particularly near sunset or sunrise when there's good contrast between the balloon and the sky.  The software I'm developing is a general purpose program for tracking moving objects using a finder camera.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1JM_OZnvMQ
Let me know if you want to help me beta test it.  Right now it's coded exclusively for classic LX200s but I'm porting it Autostar as well as Nexstar telescopes.

Offline Dick Seymour

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Re: Tracking Balloon
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2016, 11:14:13 AM »
An advantage of the LX200GPS autostar is that you can command each motor's speed individually.
Instead of saying "go to this new RA/DEC (or alt/az)" you can say "move the RA motor at x.xxx degrees per second and move the DEC motor at y.yyy degrees per second".
These are the  :RAx.xxxxxx#  and :REy.yyyyy# commands.
Satellite Tracker makes use of those for its LX200GPS "continuous" mode.

We (andrew johansen and i) have also implemented those commands as a part of our free firmware patch kits for the Autostar 497 found on many other Meade scopes.  The kits are available for download in the Files area of a number of the appropriate Yahoo groups (such as ETXASTRO, LX90, MEADE_AUTOSTAR)

good luck with your development
--dick