The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Leo And Geo Orbits For Communications American Public University/Spst501 Essay

905 words - 4 pages

LEO AND GEO
5
The Advantages and Disadvantages of LEO and GEO orbits for Communications
John Fitzgerald Kennedy Moore
American Public University System
Running head: LEO AND GEO
1
Abstract
When comparing the different orbits, it is important to understand the basics of the orbits. Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) and Low Earth Orbit (LEO) are two critical orbits that support communications satellites. What are the advantages and disadvantage of these two orbits as they relate to communication satellites?
LEO and GEO Orbits
The LEO orbit sits “1,200 miles above the earth’s surface. LEO satellites have an orbital period of 10 to 40 minutes and a short life cycle” (Reed, 2017). Also, LEO orbits have the least propagation loss, and it requires between 40-80 satellites to cover different regions of the Earth. They travel at high rates of speed, and they utilize a hand off method of passing data as the various satellites move in and out of range of the ground stations (Reed, 2017).
The GEO orbit is “22,236 miles from the earth's surface,” and it allows satellites to move at the same speed of the Earth (Howell, 2015). It because satellites seem to match the speed of the Earth it gives the appearance that they are in the same place over a single latitude. Also, this makes the orbital period of the satellite 24 hours. GEO orbits can see one spot of the Earth almost all the time.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of LEO and GEO orbits for Communications
Latency, coverage, efficiency, complexity, and cost are all important to communication satellites in these two orbits. These are all benefits of using LEO and GEO orbits. In comparison, because less energy is required to put a satellite into LEO orbit, it is the orbit that is most preferred for communication applications. Satellites placed in this orbit require a network of satellites to maintain continuous coverage, this is on of its benefits.
LEO satellites have less latency when time-sensitive requirements are needed because of the proximity to the surface of the Earth. The advantage of latency goes to the LEO orbit. As we look at coverage, because satellites in GEO orbit look like they are stationary and cover a wider area, it only requires one satellite. On the other hand, LEO satellites require more satellites to do the same thing as one GEO satellite. Therefore, GEO satellites have the coverage advantage (Guillemin, 2015).
When it comes to efficiency, the capacity required to receive the right amount of coverage is greater for LEO constellations, because they require a lot more than GEO does for the same coverage. Also, LEO satellites have a lot of gaps, and this is also one reason they require more satellites in orbit. GEO satellites can be positioned in regions where they are required and where they can focus on a specific area. This advantage goes to...

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