​​Satellite Spotting & Operations Handbook

Copyright @ Satellite Spotting. All rights reserved.

Technician Larry Brothers giving us a personal insight on the operations of the VLA in 2009.

Deep Space Tracking is sometimes carried out via an Array of radio telescopes such as the famous Very Large Array in New Mexico; photo by the author in 1992

How the professionals do it

In this chapter, it is shown that some satellites are tracked by firing lasers to them and studying the reflected light. The first such test was by Beacon Explorer B in 1964. The accuracy of the position of the satellite placed it within 20mm. Such measurements are useful for confirming Einstein's laws of Gravity, displacement of the Earth's Mass, Air Resistance at a set altitude and many others.

This clip helps explain how the system works...

This clip shows how deep space tracking operates...