The Different Types Of Satellites In Use For Internet Services
Satellite internet is a form of high speed internet connectivity which works through the use of geostationary satellites for the purpose of data transfer. It eliminates all the challenges faced by terrestrial delivery mechanisms and provides the most viable global connectivity solution for locations that are remote or rural where ground level infrastructure development is in infancy or nonexistent. It is logical that satellite internet would work around the concept of satellites, however, the intricacies involved in different kinds of satellites for internet use and the features and challenges each one of them pose are worthy points of discussion.
Satellite internet is ideally provided through geostationary satellites (GEOs) which are around 36,000 kilometers above the Earth. Geostationary satellites are those which synchronize their movement with that of the Earth. In other words, a geostationary satellite would move around the Earth exactly in the same time as Earth itself rotates. This would imply that geostationary satellites are always in the same position above the equator. Since geostationary satellites do not change their position in relation to the Earth, ground devices can easily remain pointed towards one line of sight that allows for a more effective and efficient means of data transfer.
Medium Earth Orbit Satellites (MEOs) are satellites that are placed much lower than their bigger contemporaries and ideally stay in the range of 8000 to 15000 kilometers. The satellites itself are more in number as lower altitude does not allow them to have a fixed position in relation to Earth and the footprint of individual satellites is not wide enough to cover large areas. According to direct tv reviews, on average, 10 to 15 satellites would make a medium earth orbit constellation. Since their distance to the ground is lesser, signal latency is reduced. However, advanced technology is required at the ground level to interact with this type of satellites.
Low Earth Orbit Satellites (LEOs) are at a much lower altitude than the GEOs and MEOs. At just 1000 kilometers above the surface of the Earth, they provide the best speeds and lowest latency rates. Conversely, the distance to earth reduces the coverage of individual satellites and hence a larger number is required to create an effective constellation that can cover the entire surface of the Earth and provide constant coverage. Due to these limiting factors, LEOs are more expensive to build and maintain as well. The satellite internet industry is continuously evolving and as the technology improves, the interplay between the GEOs, MEOs and LEOs will also increase. Satellites in orbit remain the backbone of satellite internet connectivity across the globe.