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Triangulation and Orbit Determination

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Allan Carter

Basingstoke, Hampshire, England

Camera / Lens Combination:

Watec 910HX & Computar 3.8mm f0.8, Az357.3, Ev 53.0

Watec 910HX & Computar 6mm f0.8, Az 87.4, Ev 45.5

Watec 910HX & Panasonic 4.5mm f1.0, Az 176.1, Ev 51.7

Watec 910HX & Panasonic 4.5mm f1.0, Az 282.0, Ev 43.0

Watec 910HX & Cosmicar Pentax 12mm f0.8 Az TBA, Ev TBA (Spectral 600g/mm)


Allan has had an interest in astronomy since he saw the great fireball in April 1969 but it was twenty years before he bought his first telescope. Even then it was further twenty years before he really had the time to pursue this hobby. First and foremost he was a solar observer with an addiction to viewing and filming the sun using solar telescopes and CCD cameras. It was in 2012 that he discovered video astronomy and the power of certain cameras to cut through light pollution and show the heavens in all their glory. He set up a remote observing station indoors with full control of telescopes and cameras from the warmth and comfort of his dining room / observatory. From there he would broadcast imaging sessions, day or night, across the internet for anyone to see.

In early 2014 he set up a sensitive all sky video camera and wide angle lens to monitor sky conditions throughout the day and night (when broadcasting) and set it to record satellites and unusual activity. It was then that he started to record meteors and his fascination for meteor science developed.

In the latter half of 2014 he installed two much more sensitive Watec 910HX video cameras on his roof. The cameras were installed in heated CCTV housings and are automatically controlled by UFO Capture software, being switched on and off by a dusk to dawn photocell. His cameras are connected to a Digital Video Recorder (DVR), allowing the images to be displayed on a large TV while simultaneously being monitored and recorded by the computers - this makes viewing even more interesting. Along the way Allan has discovered and joined the NEMETODE team in order to share data and advance knowledge of meteors and their activities. As Allan notes, "I have much to learn and a long way to go, but I'm enjoying the journey. As I work at a school early mornings and usually late evenings, solar observing by day and meteor watch by night suits my lifestyle very well. Best of both worlds!".

In May 2015 he decided to eschew CCTV Housings in favour of a ziggurat as he deployed a 4th camera - details of his design are available here.

In November 2016 Allan regretfully had to decommission his systems due to a pending house move. In the two years for which he was active Allan amassed almost 40000 individual meteor detections, a huge achievment.