2. Satellites and High-Altitude Platforms

  1. Madhavendra Richharia1 and
  2. Leslie David Westbrook2

Published Online: 7 JUN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470665619.ch2

Satellite Systems for Personal Applications: Concepts and Technology

Satellite Systems for Personal Applications: Concepts and Technology

How to Cite

Richharia, M. and Westbrook, L. D. (2010) Satellites and High-Altitude Platforms, in Satellite Systems for Personal Applications: Concepts and Technology, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470665619.ch2

Author Information

  1. 1

    Knowledge Space Ltd, UK

  2. 2

    QinetiQ Ltd, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 7 JUN 2010
  2. Published Print: 23 JUL 2010

Book Series:

  1. Wiley Series on Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing

Book Series Editors:

  1. Dr Xuemin (Sherman) Shen BSc, MSc, PhD3 and
  2. Dr Yi Pan BEng, MEng, PhD4

Series Editor Information

  1. 3

    University of Waterloo, Canada

  2. 4

    Georgia State University, USA

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470714287

Online ISBN: 9780470665619



  • geostationary orbit;
  • high-altitude platforms (HAPs);
  • Kepler’s orbital laws;
  • satellites


This chapter focuses on the satellite as a platform for provision of satellite-based services. It introduces the key parameters that describe the motion of these satellites around the Earth, and allow us to determine their orbital period and instantaneous position. The chapter focuses on the principal types of orbit in use, of which the geostationary orbit is, perhaps, the most widely known. Our notion of satellites relates primarily to objects orbiting the Earth sustained by their momentum, located well above the drag of the Earth's atmosphere. However, at lower altitudes, the use of ‘surrogate’ satellites, in the form of High-Altitude Platforms (HAPs), is gaining significant interest for servicing smaller coverage areas at lower cost and shorter timescales, and potentially with higher performance.

Controlled Vocabulary Terms

satellite communication