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An About Orbits Communications

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The word orbit we hear it really frequently, whenever the infinite bird launched or it meets up ISS ( International Space Station ) or when a projectile launches a warhead, we ever come across the word ‘orbit ‘ . But what really the orbit is?

An orbit is a specific way on which an artificial orbiter revolves/travels around another organic structure or planet.This way is regular and reiterating.Satellite can be natural and unreal, like Moon.Moon itself acts like a orbiter which travels around the Earth in a peculiar way.

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In the solar system, nine planets including Earth, revolves around the Sun in an orbit.Satellite that travels around the Earth are non in a changeless distance from Earth, it varies.Sometimes its closer and sometimes far off. The closest orbit of orbiter around the Earth is called “perigee” and farthest orbit called “apogee” . The clip required for a orbiter to finish full orbit is called a “period” .

Harmonizing to Isaac Newton ‘s first jurisprudence of gesture, a traveling object will stay in gesture unless something pulls it or force it, and that is gravitation.

Without Earth ‘s gravitation, orbiter would travel off in the infinite along a consecutive way.With Earth ‘s gravitation it maintain on pulled orbiter back to Earth.

To keep the orbit, the gravitative force and the impulse of traveling object have to be balanced. Another factor is Escape speed. It is the velocity of an object ( orbiter ) to interrupt free from the gravitation of the planet and enters into a certain orbit. It depends on the mass of the planet and varies from planets to planets and the distance from the Centre of the planet to the object ( orbiter ) is besides of import. The flight speed of Earth is approx. 11.3 kilometer ( 7 stat mis ) /hr.

Orbital Speed:

Orbital speed is the needed velocity needed for an object ( orbiter ) to remain in an orbit. It is about and height of 242 kilometers, approx 17,000 stat mis /hr. [ 4 ]


There are three different types of orbits High Earth orbit ( Geostationary orbit ) , Medium Earth orbit ( MEO ) , and Low Earth orbit ( LEO ) .The orbit selected for orbiter is depend on its use and application. Direct Broadcast Programmes and weather communicating orbiters use Geostationary Orbit, as they are far off from the Earth and they travel in the Earth ‘s way hence looks stationary.Satellite pilotage systems ( NAVSTAR or GPS [ planetary placement system ] ) , designed to voyage a peculiar part or country and orbiter phones are in MEO ( Medium Earth Orbit ) . NASA ‘s Earth Observing System and other scientific orbiters uses LEO ( Lower Earth Orbit ) . [ 5 ] [ 6 ]

Earth orbits. [ 7 ]



Orbit Initials




Orbit height ( KM above Earth ‘s surface )

Low Earth Orbit

( LEO )


160 – 1,400


200 – 1200

Medium Earth Orbit

( MEO )

6,000 – 12,000



1200 – 35790

Geostationary Earth Orbit

( GEO )



250 MS


Round and Egg-shaped Waies

There are two types of orbit waies, in which orbiter travels around the Earth, handbill and egg-shaped. In round orbits, the distance between the Earth and orbiter remains same all the clip.

When a orbiter orbit around the Earth, it creates a plane, which goes across the geo -centre or Centre of gravitation of Earth. If the orbiter orbit with Earth ‘s rotary motion, it is called “posigrade” and if it is in opposite way, it is “retrograde” .

The way of orbiter around Earth is besides defined. If the orbiter travels straight overhead the Earth, it makes a circle which had the Centre of gravitation of Earth known as “Ground Track” and it consists of individual point on Earth ‘s Equator. [ 10 ]

Satellite orbit waies. [ 11 ]


The distance between orbiter and Earth or the tallness of orbit decides how fast the orbiter is traveling to go around the Earth. The satellite gesture is ever controlled by the gravitation of the Earth. The more nearer the orbiter is, gravitation gets stronger and it travels more faster. For case, NASA ‘s Aqua orbiter completes the period in 99 proceedingss around Earth at approx 750kms up, on the other manus a conditions orbiter takes 23 hour, 56 min ‘s, and 4 sec ‘s to finish a period at 42,164km off from Earth. If we look at Moon ‘s one complete period around Earth, it takes 28days at 384,403 kilometer ‘s from the Centre of Earth.

By altering the tallness of orbiter, it effects on its orbital velocity every bit good. For altering the velocity of the orbiter ‘s orbit, the orbiter operator fire pushers which helps the orbiter to speed up more. It would hike the orbit, in footings of increasing the height but it will decelerate the orbital speed. Alternatively of that, the orbiter operator should fire the pushers in opposite way of the orbiter, By making this, it will force the orbiter into the lower orbit, which causes increase in orbital speed.


It directs to the form, form of the orbit way. With a low eccentricity the orbiter will travel near to the Earth in circle ( Lower earth orbit ) . The Eccentricity of an orbit refers to the recreation of orbit from an ideal circle way. With eccentricity of ( vitamin E ) = 0 the orbit forms a round way, the value of eccentricity lies between 0 ~1.With high ( vitamin E ) = 0.9 the orbits forms an egg-shaped orbit, the nearest distance from Earth is called perigee and furthest distance is called culmination.

In any egg-shaped orbit, it focused on two focal points, and one of them is geo-centre of Earth,

Picture taken from [ nexus ] , ( NASA illustration by Robert Simmon

Another important factor is plane of satellite orbital way. An orbital disposition is the angle between the plane of the orbit with the equator of the Earth. If the orbit is straight overhead the equator of Earth, it will hold an disposition of 0° or 180° and by and large it is called equatorial orbits.And if the orbit is go throughing over the north and south poles of the Earth, it will do and disposition of 90°and known as polar orbits.Angle of Inclination [ link1 ] , [ link2 ] .

Another characteristic is the angle of lift, above the Earth ‘s plane with a given location of Earth and clip. It plays an of import function when a contact between orbiter and Earth station is required. Angle of lift agencies, when the orbiter appears on the horizontal axis of Earth. Signals from Earth station may be interrupted if the angle is excessively little or if the Earth station ‘s aerial is non located on high height. Minimum of 5° angle of lift is acceptable for satisfactory consequences. [ nexus ]

All together, the orbiter tallness, disposition and eccentricity helps to detect the satellite way and what vision it will hold on the Earth.


High EARTH ORBIT [ GEO ( Geostationary /Geosynchronous orbit ) ]

When a orbiter approaches 42,164 kilometer ‘s off from the Centre of the Earth ( approx 36,000km ‘s from the surface of Earth ) it enters into a particular plane of orbit where its period starts fiting the Earth ‘s rotary motion and it orbits the same speed as Earth ‘s. So, the orbiter starts acting as stationary over the Earth ‘s equator surface. This High Earth Orbit is known as Geosynchronous.

A orbiter traveling in round orbit straight overhead the Earth ‘s surface with eccentricity and angle of disposition at 0°forms a geosynchronous besides known as geostationary orbit. As it follows the Earth, so it completes its 1 period in 24 hours.

GEO orbit is an ideal orbit for supervising weather prognosis events, because in GEO orbit, the orbiter can supply a changeless image of same surface scope as it follows the Earth.GEO stationary orbiters like, GOES ( Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite ) sends informations after every few proceedingss about air current, regular review of cloud feelings and H2O bluess. Launched and built by NASA, operated by NOAA ( National Oceanic & A ; Atmospheric Administration ) .GOES orbiter besides helps to turn up the ships and airplanes in distress state of affairs.

Earth images at different intervals of clip. [ nexus ]

As geostationary orbiter is ever on fixed individual place, they can be utile for satellite phones, direct orbiter broadcast, wireless etc.

Merely beyond the bounds of High Earth Orbit, there are Lagrange Points. At these points the Earth ‘s gravitation pull cancels the Sun ‘s gravitation pull.Any orbiter placed on these points will acquire relative pull towards the Sun and the Earth and it will get down traveling with the Earth around the Sun.

There are 5 Lagrange points, L1 & A ; L2 are located opposite sides of the Earth i.e. , dark and twenty-four hours sides. L3 is located on the other side of the Sun, inauspicious side of the Earth. Merely are stable points, located at 60° above and behind the Earth in same orbit.

On L1, L2 & A ; L3 any little agitation will drop out the orbiter out of Lagrange point. At these critical points, they need changeless and regular accommodations to remain balanced within the orbit. But on L4 and L5

even if they get disturbed they return back to their initial point.

Lagrange Points


Satellites which orbits in medium Earth orbit they move more rapidly as compared to GEO because they are closer to Earth. There are two types of medium Earth orbits,

  1. Semi Synchronous orbit and
  2. Molniya Orbit.

1 ) Semi Synchronous orbit:

This orbit is a close to round orbit with a really low eccentricity, with a distance of 26,560 kilometer ‘s off from the Centre of Earth about 20,200 kilometer ‘s from the Earth ‘s surface. At this distance, the orbiter takes 12 hours to finish its 1 period/orbit. As satellite orbits, the Earth revolves under it and in 24 hours of clip, the orbiter come across the same 2 points everyday on the equator. This orbit is relentless and much more predictable. This orbit is used by GPS orbiters ( Global Positioning System ) .

2 ) Molniya Orbit:

This is the 2nd orbit in MEO, the Molniya orbit. Made by Russians, it works satisfactory for finding high latitudes. With the high eccentricity of 0.722 and disposition of 63.4° it forms a immense oval orbital way with the Earth, and it is really near with the Earth on one border. Due to this, it gets accelerated by the Earth ‘s gravitation. As it orbits more faster when it is near to Earth and it slows down, when it moves far off.Due to the high eccentricity, it spends more clip at the top of ellipse orbit. Similar to Semi Synchronous orbit, it takes 12 hours to finish its 1 period/orbit and in 24 hours of clip, the orbiter come across the same 2 points mundane.Molniya orbit is utile for communicating in far hemispheres.

This orbit is used by Russian communications orbiters and the Sirius wireless orbiters.


With a 160-1,240 stat mis altitude, it forms a low Earth orbit in a round way above the Earth ‘s surface. The orbiters traveling in this orbit complete one period/orbit in approximately 90 proceedingss. It means they can faster in LEO at about 17,000 miles per hour. [ nexus ] .

Largely weather communicating orbiters and scientific orbiters are in Low Earth orbit.the orbiters in LEO got different angle of disposition.the disposition angle depends on the intent of what to supervise. For illustration, TRMM ( Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission ) orbiter tasked to supervise the rainfalls in the tropic parts. So that it has a low disposition of 35° and it is closer to the equator.

NASA ‘s Earth detecting system orbiters are in LEO and in polar orbits. As they orbits around the North to south poles, they are extremely inclined and they takes 99 proceedingss to finish 1 period/orbit.In half of the period ( e.g. North to south pole ) , they captured the daylight of Earth ‘s surface, and in 2nd half period they capture the opposite dark clip side of the Earth. In 24 hours, the orbiters in polar orbits capture the Earth twice, one time in daylight and second in dark clip.

The polar -orbiting orbiters have one particular topographic point on the equator which lets them to remain in 1 clip. This orbit is a Sun Synchronous orbit which indicates that no affair whenever the orbiter comes across the equator, the local solar clip will be same on the land every bit good.

For illustration, Terra orbiter, when it crosses the Brazil on equator the clip is ever approximately 10:30 am. After finishing its one orbit in 99 proceedingss, when it following overpasses the Earth equator, it comes across the Ecuador or Colombia at approximately 10:30.

The way of Sun-synchronous necrology is really narrow. To keep the Sun -synchronous orbit, it is necessary for a orbiter to accomplish a tallness of 100 kilometer ‘s with an orbital disposition of 96° .

Accomplishing & A ; Maintain the Orbit:

To establish a orbiter into a peculiar orbit, an tremendous sum of energy is required, and this energy is depends upon the tallness of the orbit, location of launch site and orbital disposition.

For High Earth Orbits, requires immense energy encouragement merely to make their finish. Polar orbit orbiters take more energy as compared to the orbiters which are overhead the Earth ‘s equator as they did n’t gets hike from Earth ‘s impulse.The ISS ( International Space Station ) orbits at orbital disposition of 51.6397° and it helps other infinite birds to make to it.

Keeping the Orbit:


There are many factors which effects the orbital disposition of orbiters. As in the solar system there are many other gravitation pulls every bit good, such as from the Sun, Moon, and Jupiter, the biggest planet in the solar system NASA ‘S LEO satellites, requires care every twelvemonth to keep the disposition of sun-synchronous orbit.

  1. Satellites in LEO are besides dragged out from their orbit because of the ambiance. Satellites in lower Earth orbit moves through the thinnest beds of the ambiance where air clash is rather strong and it is more than plenty to draw them out from the orbit or draw them closer to Earth. If the orbiter comes closer to Earth, Earth ‘s gravitation accelerates them to hike up, it will either fire up or fall down to Earth.
  2. Air ever rises and expands if heated. The air in the ambiance rises and expands due to the Sun ‘s excess tremendous sum of energy. The thinner sheet of atmosphere rises and thicker bed under it takes it topographic point. Now, the orbiter orbits in thicker bed alternatively of dilutant bed. It creates more clash between the medium and the orbiter.
  3. As there is a batch of infinite debris, orbital dust in orbital waies.

Cite this An About Orbits Communications

An About Orbits Communications. (2016, Nov 26). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/an-essay-about-orbits-communications-essay/

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