geosynchronous orbit


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geosynchronous orbit

(jee-oh-sink -rŏ-nŭs) An Earth orbit made by an artificial satellite (moving west to east) that has a period of 24 hours, equal to the Earth's period of rotation on its axis. If the orbit is inclined to the equatorial plane the satellite will appear from Earth to trace out a figure-of-eight, once per day, between latitudes corresponding to the angle of orbital inclination to the equator. If the 24-hour orbit lies in the equatorial plane, and is circular, the satellite will appear from Earth to be almost stationary; the orbit and orbiting body are then termed geostationary. A geostationary orbit has an altitude of 36 000 km.

A geosynchronous or geostationary orbit is very difficult to achieve, requiring a very high orbital velocity. Satellites in such orbits are used for communications and navigation and also for certain types of Earth observations. Most communications satellites are now geostationary, with groups of three or more, spaced around the orbit, giving global coverage.

geosynchronous orbit

[‚jē·ō¦siŋ·krə·nəs ′ȯr·bət]
(aerospace engineering)
A satellite orbit that has a period of one sidereal day (23 hours, 56 minutes, 4 seconds). Abbreviated GEO.
References in periodicals archive ?
Most of the United States' assets in space for national security are in geosynchronous orbit.
Nickel-cadmium batteries are gradually being phased out and replaced by nickel-hydrogen batteries which deliver 20 W hours/kg in low orbit and 40 W hours/kg in geosynchronous orbit.
Data from GSSAP will uniquely contribute to timely and accurate orbital predictions, enhancing our knowledge of the geosynchronous orbit environment, and further enabling spaceflight safety to include satellite collision avoidance," the ULA said (http://www.
The spacecraft will be launched directly into geosynchronous orbit aboard a Proton launch vehicle provided by International Launch Services (ILS).
The goal of the program is to enhance the countrys knowledge of the geosynchronous orbit environment for more timely and accurate orbit predictions to improve space flight safety.
payloads into geosynchronous orbit when launched from Cape Canaveral Air Station, Fla; and up to 38,000 lbs.
A single-instrument satellite could reach geosynchronous orbit some 22,300 miles above Earth, allowing observations of the heavens to continue unimpeded during 85 to 90 percent of the orbiting time, he says.
The satellite will be designed to have a one-year mission life at geosynchronous orbit, with a three year goal of operational life from the time of launch.
The Yamal-401 satellite has been successfully launched by International Launch Services (ILS) into geosynchronous orbit on 15 December on an ILS Proton at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
The Land Launch operations use either a Zenit3-SLB to lift three and a half ton payloads to a geosynchronous orbit or use a two-stage Zenit2-SLB to lift up to thirteen metric tons into low-earth orbit.
IUE is the only astronomy satellite to have been placed in a geosynchronous orbit, where it is positioned more than 22,000 miles above a fixed point on earth, notes Theodore Snow, director of the University of Colorado's Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy.
Over the next ten days the satellite will be maneuvered into a circular geosynchronous orbit, 22,300 miles (36,000 km) above the equator.