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ROSAT predicted reentry using STK - Updated Oct 22 @ 1630 UTC

By: kelso
The latest estimate by USSTRATCOM for the reentry of the German ROSAT satellite—produced Oct 22 at 1427 UTC and available on Space Track—is now 2011 Oct 23 at 0234 UTC ±7 hours. Our analysis performed using STK's Satellite Lifetime tool with the latest TLE now predicts a reentry time on 2011 Oct 23 at 0810 UTC. The new TLE estimate represents a large jump and may be due to limitations of the SGP4 orbital model for propagating satellite orbits in this orbial regime. To see how the prediction and its associated uncertainty map to where any debris might fall to the ground, the 3D and 2D ground traces (above) show the orbit of ROSAT over the predicted reentry window. The 3D view shows the USSTRATCOM-predicted reentry point over the Pacific Ocean south of the Baja Peninsula.

TLE-based reentry pointThe second 3D view shows the STK-predicted reentry point for ROSAT over the Lake Baikal region of Russa.

While there are clearly some places where the probability of reentry is very unlikely, even those places at the intersection of the ground traces have an exceedingly small chance of having reentry occur there, given the current large uncertainty. We will continue to refine these graphics and estimates as new data becomes available.
Posted: 10/19/2011 6:22:43 PM