NOAA KLM User's Guide

Section 5.0

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Introduction Page, NOAA KLM TOC, Acronyms
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5.0 Tracking Procedures for Directional Antennas Used to Acquire Data from Real-Time Transmissions System Sensors

All operators of satellite stations designed to receive any type of direct readout transmission from polar orbiting satellites need to know the satellite's position in time and space in order to know when to operate their equipment and to permit them to geographically locate the received data. Operators of stations using directional antennas also need this information to determine antenna pointing angles, although this is not required of stations using fixed, omnidirectional antennas.

One of the primary sources of information concerning a satellite's position in time and space is the TBUS predict bulletin. These bulletins are issued daily for all NOAA satellites, both polar orbiting and geostationary. The information in the bulletin can be used in a variety of computer programs (or hand plotted, using graphical techniques) to determine the antenna azimuth and elevation angles necessary to follow a polar orbiting satellite passing within receiving range of a given station. In advanced satellite receiving systems, the output can provide commands to directly drive the antenna aiming hardware.

The code form of the TBUS bulletin, an example of an actual bulletin, and a decoding exercise are given in Appendix A.

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