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One of the interesting sights in the night sky are the Naval Ocean Surveillance System (NOSS) satellite formations, each having two or three satellites in close proximity to one another. Normally these satellites are relatively dim to the unaided eye, but on occasion they brighten sufficiently to be easily seen in a dark sky.
NOSS satellites locate and track ships at sea by detecting their radio transmissions and analyzing them using the TDOA (time-difference-of-arrival) technique
Originally posted by Witness2008
Do you ever camp out? If you do some weekend pick a place with a wide view then read and move your mind into their realm then concentrate on communicating your acknowledgment of them.
Operational NOSS satellites maintain their individual formations, and they also maintain nearly identical orbital periods across all three generations of NOSS, yet detectable re-boost manoeuvres have been rare.
A possible clue as to how this is accomplished is the observation that the entire operational constellation appears to decay at the same slow rate. One line of speculation is that this may be accomplished by varying the ballistic coefficient of each satellite, perhaps by changing the orientation of one or more panels facing into the direction of motion, to increase or decrease cross-sectional area.
During the solar-maximum period of the early 2000's, hobbyists who routinely track the NOSS, detected occasional orbit re-boost manoeuvres by the NOSS 1-6 and 1-7 formations, indicating the use some sort of thruster. Since they were the oldest operational NOSS, perturbations had caused their perigee to decrease to an altitude where the atmospheric density at solar-maximum may have resulted in a greater rate of decay than that of the overall constellation, even at the lowest ballistic coefficient achievable using the aforementioned panels.