Updating the Elements
WinOrbit uses a
containing data sets called
These data sets are publicly available, and are revised frequently to include
new satellites, and to reflect the gradual changes of the orbits of old ones.
New tables are available from many BBSes, and in the form of bulletins on the
Amateur Radio packet networks and in bulletin broadcasts from various Amateur
Radio stations, as well as on the Internet.
You have two choices about maintaining the database: simply replace the
currently-used file with a new one; or get fancy by merging multiple files,
together with manual entries, into the database and then saving the contents as
a new file. See the discussion under the
for the Satellite Information Window.
In any event, you must periodically choose
in each Map Window and select the appropriate new entry from the list.
How often you do this depends on the availability of new data, your ambition,
and how fast the satellite seems to drift from the program predictions. For
some satellites, this may be months or even a year or more, for others, only a
The program accepts two basic formats (
is also acceptable. WinOrbit is not terribly picky about the details of
the files - all you need to do is save a bulletin file in ASCII text format
with the right sort of filename:
NASA format files
should have a filename ending in ".2LI", or ".TLE".
AMSAT format files
should end in ".KEP".
Vector format files
should end in ".VEC" or ".VIF".
The program can find its way past the header information, so there's no need to
edit the files at all in most cases. Currently published element sets have a
checksum included to verify that the numbers were transcribed or
transmitted correctly. If the checksum is absent or wrong, an error message
appears, giving you the option to keep the data anyway or discard it.
Element sets can also be
or created, by manually typing in the element values.
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