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Chapter: Satellite Communication - Satellite Orbits

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Station Keeping

In addition to having its attitude controlled, it is important that a geo- stationary satellite be kept in its correct orbital slot.

Station Keeping:

In addition to having its attitude controlled, it is important that a geo- stationary satellite be kept in its correct orbital slot. The equatorial ellipticity of the earth causes geostationary satellites to drift slowly along the orbit, to one of two stable points, at 75°E and 105°W.

 

To counter this drift, an oppositely directed velocity component is imparted to the satellite by means of jets, which are pulsed once every 2 or 3 weeks.

 

These maneuvers are termed east-west station-keeping maneuvers. Satellites in the 6/4-GHz band must be kept within 0.1° of the desig- nated longitude, and in the 14/12-GHz band, within 0.05°.




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