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Re: Equatorial LEO

-----Original Message-----
From: Thomas McDaniel <TomMcD@ix.netcom.com>
To: amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org <amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org>; Astronautic Technology (M) Sdn.
Bhd. <tiung@po.jaring.my>
Date: Tuesday, July 21, 1998 6:23 PM
Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] Equatorial LEO

>Hi all,
>Do highly inclined LEO satellites provide any shorter or less often passes
>to satellite stations located at equatorial latitudes?

Yes they do provide less frequent passes (and shorter on average).  Remember
that meridians are spread widest at the equator and converge at the poles.
A station at the one of the poles gets an overhead pass every revolution of
a satellite in a polar orbit.  A station on the equator would probably get
(at most) five consecutive passes with the middle one or two being high

>I can see that a LEO in an equatorial orbit would provide NO passes to
>stations located at high latitudes, but it looks like all latitudes would
>evenly covered by a LEO in a highly inclined orbit.

True enough that the equatorial orbit gives no passes to the high latitude
stations.  However, circular orbits tend to favor stations at a slightly
higher latitude than the orbital inclination.  There is no way I know of to
give all latitudes even coverage, but you probably get closest with an orbit
with an inclination somewhere around 60 degrees.

Ken Ernandes

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