Unvetted Observations

I have asked this question before but I still don’t understand.

What is the point of scheduling hundreds of Observations on other peoples stations if no one is going to vet them? I assume this means
a) no one has the time to vet them or
b) no one can be bothered to vet them or has any interest in these observations.
So why make the observations? Just to fill a database?
I did check the dates, they are past Observations not future Observations.

Surely there must be a way to limit the perceived over use of your hardware by others for no useful purpose?
Is there something going on that I don’t know about, or don’t understand?

My experience is that they will eventually be vetted. Sometimes I vet them myself if I am familiar with the satellite or if the waterfalls are obvious.

Having said that, I found that when my stations first went online, they got “booked” with observations really quickly (and figuring out which observations needed to be deleted in order to schedule my own was very tedious). I put a note in my station descriptions noting that they were not to be used to realize “100% utilization target” of SatNogs project, and only to be used for targeted (tactical) observations. That seemed to cut down on 95% of the bulk observations.


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Hey @vk2byf,

I think you confuse two different things, the vetting process and the usefulness of the observations and their artifacts (waterfall, audio, data etc…).

On the latter, every observations it could be useful, vetted or unvetted. It can be useful for radio amateurs, to confirm a contact they had, for satellite teams, to see that their satellite works or not, for researchers, to make an analysis on satellites orbit or functionality, for the SatNOGS project, to check the status of the network or make an analysis on the network’s functionality.

These are some of the current uses of the observations, maybe there are more in the future that will use these data that we now collect and may not look useful.

On the vetting, let’s see first some stats. The oldest unvetted observation is going back on 2019-06-01 (less than 2 months ago). Since then we have ~12400 unvetted vs ~125550 vetted. This means that only ~9% of the observations the last ~2 months are not vetted. When we go to all the observations… ~808450 then unvetted is ~1.5% of the observations.

Also ~5500 of the ~12400 unvetted are mine and they are from the 27 recently deployed satellites, this is ~25% of all of the observations I have scheduled for them. Why I scheduled so many, when I didn’t have the time to vet directly 25% of them? Because I will be able to vet them the next days and also because it is important to have as many observations as we can get of them in order to be able to identify them and also make sure that are functional. Most of the 27 have interesting stories that showed we need to track them as early as possible with all of our power, for example ACRUX-1 that was alive for some hours only for a couple of days, and we were the only ones to receive it (check this video around 1:28:00).

What I’m trying to point out with the numbers above is that sooner or later observations are vetted, so I don’t think we should worry about it. :slight_smile:

Also changes are planned and implemented to automate the process, in order to take less and less resources to vet observations, for example both, moving from a waterfall image to waterfall data and simplifying the vetting process, will allow us to auto-vet observations in the future.

As I wrote above, I disagree with the phrase “no useful purpose”, however I fully understand that hardware and software comes with a cost in time and money. What I want to say is that if there is any issue with fully utilizing a station then its owner should communicate that to community which will find a solution.

For now the way to limit observations if there is a need, is to add a note in station’s description, in the not-so-far future with the auto-scheduler, utilization factor will make it easier.

Not sure if it is clear but SatNOGS project aims to track as many satellites as it can for as much time as it can, ideally all satellites for 24/7. This means fully utilize network and stations by automating processes and respecting the needs of the network members. We are far from this ideal goal and maybe we never reach it, but with the awesome support from the community and with our open source values day by day we getting closer.

And my view on the SatNOGS project is that it is a scientific, open-source and crowd-sourced project that helps Libre Space Foundation vision to make a free and accessible space for all.