What is Geostationary: Definition and 38 Discussions

A geostationary orbit, also referred to as a geosynchronous equatorial orbit (GEO), is a circular geosynchronous orbit 35,786 kilometres (22,236 miles) in altitude above Earth's equator (42,164 kilometers in radius from Earth's center) and following the direction of Earth's rotation.
An object in such an orbit has an orbital period equal to the Earth's rotational period, one sidereal day, and so to ground observers it appears motionless, in a fixed position in the sky. The concept of a geostationary orbit was popularised by the science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke in the 1940s as a way to revolutionise telecommunications, and the first satellite to be placed in this kind of orbit was launched in 1963.
Communications satellites are often placed in a geostationary orbit so that Earth-based satellite antennas (located on Earth) do not have to rotate to track them but can be pointed permanently at the position in the sky where the satellites are located. Weather satellites are also placed in this orbit for real-time monitoring and data collection, and navigation satellites to provide a known calibration point and enhance GPS accuracy.
Geostationary satellites are launched via a temporary orbit, and placed in a slot above a particular point on the Earth's surface. The orbit requires some stationkeeping to keep its position, and modern retired satellites are placed in a higher graveyard orbit to avoid collisions.

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  1. C

    Maximum safe mass of an asteroid in geostationary orbit

    Summary:: What is the maximum safe mass of an asteroid in geostationary orbit before it causes problems? Hello everyone, If there was an asteroid in geostationary orbit around the Earth, over the Pacific Ocean, what would be the highest mass it could have before it would start having...
  2. duchuy

    Altitude of Geostationary Orbit

    Hi, They gave me this formula T = 2piR / v, with T the revolution period of the satellite, R the distance between the center of masses and v the velocity. They gave me the value of G and the eath's mass and asked to determine the value of R. I don't even see fromwhere I should start... Thank...
  3. P

    MHB Geostationary Orbits: Benefits & Challenges

    Hi, everyone can you help me with this question, please?
  4. O

    Area covered on Earth by geostationary satellites

    My question is, given that the height of geostationary satellite to be 35786 Km and radius of about 6378km determine the area covered by a geostationary satellite Or deteremine minimum number of geostationary satellites requires to cover whole earth. Regards thanks a bunch :)
  5. J

    B Earth Orbits of Geostationary Satellites

    Do geostationary satellites move with the Earth's orbit or do they not move at all?
  6. T

    How much work is done when a satellite is launched into orbit?

    Homework Statement A Satellite is brought up into a geostationary orbit (altitude 35800km measured from the surface of the earth). Satellite weights 1000.0kg. How much work is required to bring satellite from a surface of the Earth to geostationary orbit? Homework Equations Newton's law of...
  7. B

    Apparent (clearly false) contradiction - Kepler's Third Law

    Homework Statement When considering a satellite in geosynchronous orbit, its speed is zero across (relative to) Earth's surface. From Kepler's third Law: T2=(4π2r3)/(GM), we can derive that v2=GM/r This would tell us that as the radius of a satellite to Earth's centre increases, its velocity...
  8. S

    What are the factors affecting geostationary satellite orbits?

    Homework Statement Which of the following statements about geostationary satellite is correct? a. geostationary satellites must orbit from east to west b. the orbital radius of a geostationary satellite can be varied as long as its period is 24 hours c. it is a constellation of at least two...
  9. P

    I Instability of a Rigid Untethered Ring Around a Planet

    I had this discussion while driving home to California from a trip to Washington state with a friend. We were discussing the stability of a completely rigid, untethered, ring-structure around Earth, and I did not know how to explain to him that such a thing must be tethered by rigid towers lest...
  10. P

    Geostationary satellite orbit radius as a multiple of Earth radius.

    Homework Statement Okay, so the question seems really simple so I don't know what I'm missing A satellite orbits at a fixed point above the Earth's equator. Assuming the Earth has uniform density, radius R, and angular frequency of rotation, omega Find an expression for eta, such that the...
  11. K

    Calculating the height of a geostationary satellite of Earth

    Homework Statement Calculate the height of a geo-stationary satellite of earth. Gravitational force of earth=6.667 x 10^-11 nm^2/kgm^2 Mass of earth=6x10^24 kgm Radius of earth=6400 km V=86400 Homework Equations GM/r=v^2 r=R+h The Attempt at a Solution I plugged everything into the equation...
  12. dakota224

    Determining distance between geostationary satellite & moon

    ***NOTE: The data in my written work & the typed variables under "all known data" are correct. The problem statement has new values for a new submission, but I am trying to correct my work on an old submission. Sorry for the confusion! 1. Homework Statement Problem: All known data: Period (T)...
  13. Bucho

    Orbit of Geostationary Satellites

    Hi all, I feel like I have the answer, or am at least in the ballpark, but I'm not confident in this area and so I also feel like there should be a more concise, or "beautiful" way to express it. Am I missing something? 1. Homework Statement Explain why the orbit of a geostationary satellite...
  14. N

    Did Arthur C Clarke invent Geostationary orbit of satellites ?

    I have been told that the discovery of the Geostationary orbit of satellites was attributed to Arthur C Clarke the well known writer of Science Fiction stories. Is it possible that he also made a serious study of this subject and were there any formulas involved which he might have published...
  15. F

    Calculate the orbital velocity in a geostationary orbit

    Homework Statement Calculate the orbital velocity in a geostationary orbit (the circular orbit around the Earth which has a period of 24 hours) and show that its radius is approximately 40,000 km. A satellite is to be inserted into a geostationary orbit from an elliptical orbit with perigee at...
  16. agnibho

    Geostationary Satellite and Orbiting Satellite problem

    Homework Statement A satellite GeoSAT is in a circular geostationary orbit of radius RG above a point P on the equator. Another satellite ComSAT is in a lower circular orbit of radius 0.81RG. At 7 P.M. on January 1, ComSAT is sighted directly above P. On which day among the following can ComSAT...
  17. M

    Is a Helicopter on a Geostationary Orbit?

    Is a helicopter which is stationary relative to the surface on a geostationary orbit? Why, or why not?
  18. U

    Geostationary satellite collision - Orbits

    Homework Statement A geostationary satellite of mass m, speed v orbits earth. (a) Find expressions for (i) Radius of the orbit, r0. (ii) Satellite's Speed (b) A meteorite with mass m and speed v approaches in the direction towards the centre of the Earth and collides with the satellite...
  19. K

    Understanding the Limitations of Geostationary Satellites

    why it's impossible for a satellite in a non-equatorial plane to be geostationary? Explain in terms of gravitational force and centripetal force(If possible show equations and draw diagrams for forces acting on the satellite).
  20. C

    Please help: Geostationary Orbit Question

    Homework Statement What is the height of a geostationary satellite measured from the Earth's centre? Homework Equations r^3/T^2 = GM/4pi^2 T of Earth = 3.16 * 10^7 s The Attempt at a Solution GM/4p2 = r3/T2 3root[T2 * GM/4p2 ] = r 3root[(3.16*107 s)2 *...
  21. E

    Geostationary Satellite Equatorial Plane

    Geostationary satellites need to be in equatorial plane. Now my first doubt is what exactly is the equatorial plane? Is it just locus of all points have 0 latitude or locus of all points having a fixed latitude say 5. {Like does a orbit in equatorial plane mean that its latitude is 0...
  22. J

    Why Is the Energy of a Satellite in Geostationary Orbit Negative?

    Homework Statement Calculate the energy of a 100kg satellite associated with a geostationary orbit around a planet. Homework Equations Kepler's 3rd Law: T^{2} = \left( \frac{4 \pi^{2}}{GM_{p}} \right)r^{3} Velocity equation: v = \sqrt{\frac{GM_{p}}{r}} Planet mass: M_{p}...
  23. Eagle9

    The number of space debris objects beyond the geostationary orbit

    Good day to all :wink: I would like to find out the amount of man-made objects rotating around the Earth at high altitudes, more precisely beyond the geostationary orbit, for example at the altitude of 45 000/50 000/60 000 km above the sea level. Are there any data available for this purpose? I...
  24. S

    Geostationary orbit propagator

    Hi guys, I've been trying to make a longitude and drift rate propagator for a geostationary satellite but the equations do not take into account other perturbing forces apart from the Earth's triaxiality. Longitude = Initial Longitude + Initial Drift Rate * Elapsed Time + 0.5 *...
  25. S

    Sources of noise in geostationary satellite attitude determination simulation

    I am doing satellite attitude determination simulation using sun Earth sensors and Gyro modelling .I am using extended kalman filtering for attitude determination. the sequence of operations I am doing are % Simulation data % Spacecraft data % Gyro data % Sensor data. % Control system...
  26. A

    Speed of satellites in a geostationary orbit

    We're doing orbits and such in physics at the moment, and out teacher said "if a geostationary satellite gets further away, it has to go faster". I get this, because with a bigger orbit it would have to move faster to stay above the same point on earth, more distance to travel in the same time...
  27. W

    Calculating Altitude in Geostationary Orbit

    Homework Statement A 10,000 kg satellite is rbiting the Earth in a geostationary orbit. The height of the satellite above the surface of the Earth is ? Homework Equations V = \omega r Newtons gravitational force equation Keplers third law equation The Attempt at a...
  28. M

    A couple of geostationary calculations

    Homework Statement a satellite is orbiting the Earth in a near-polar orbit. it's orbital height is 500km. the satellite carries a nadir-viewing push-broom scanning imaging instrument with 4 spectral bands. for each spectral band, the detector array consists of 1024 detector elements. the width...
  29. M

    Orbital Radius of 15 Geostationary Satellites for 14 Daily Passes

    A geostationary satellite in orbit around the Earth has a period identical to that of the Earth's daily rotation; the radius of such an orbit is 4.23 \times 10^4 kilometers. A system of satellites is proposed such that 15 satellites are in orbit at the same radius and each passes over a point...
  30. fluidistic

    Problem geostationary satellite

    Homework Statement At what height (from the ground of the Earth) must be placed a geostationary satellite? Homework Equations The Attempt at a Solution I'm not sure I understand well the question. I guess they are asking for a satellite in such a position that he would not...
  31. D

    Working out the geostationary orbit

    I have been given that this planet has a diameter of 1600km with a uniform density of 52000 per cubic metre. And if its moon is in a geostationary orbit around the planet and assuming that the sidereal is exactly 24 hours. How far is the geostationary orbit above the surface of the planet. And i...
  32. K

    Why must a geostationary satellite be placed above the equator?

    Homework Statement Explain why a geostationary satellite must be placed vertically above the equator. Homework Equations i know a GS has a period of 24 h,... and that it remains at a specific position with respect to a point on earth. The Attempt at a Solution i googled a bit...
  33. O

    What is the orbital speed of a satellite in geostationary orbit?

    Homework Statement What is the orbital speed of a satellite of mass 490 kg in geostationary orbit? Homework Equations Fg= G m1m2/r The Attempt at a Solution I don't really know where to begin... I know the period is 24 hours because it is geostationary, and the height is 35880...
  34. J

    Geostationary Satelite Problem

    Homework Statement Venus has a mass of about 4.87 1024 kg. The length of a day on Venus is 2802 hrs. Your task is to put a satellite into a circular orbit around Venus so that it stays above one spot on the surface, orbiting Venus once each Venus day. At what distance from the center of the...
  35. Amith2006

    Geostationary satellite mechanics

    Sir, 1)If an object is dropped from a satellite moving close to the Earth will it fall to the Earth or will it move along with the satellite? The answer given in my book is, it will fall to the Earth with an acceleration due to gravity. But how is it so? At the instant it is dropped, it has an...
  36. J

    Special geostationary orbit condition

    For geostationary satellites moving in circular orbits in the equatorial plane, there is no distinction between the true anomaly f, the mean anomaly M, and the eccentric anomaly E. For geostationary satellites, the angles \theta=Greenwich sidereal time, \Omega = longitude of ascending note...
  37. K

    Could Geostationary Satellites End Up Gathering Over the Indian Ocean?

    How accurate does the orbiting velocity of a geostationary satellite have to be so that it keeps in synch with the same geographical part of the Earth over a period of ten years.
  38. D

    Geostationary Orbit: Why Equatorial Plane?

    Why must geostationary orbit at the equatorial plane?
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