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Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellite Applications

Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellites are in orbit at altitudes between 500 to 2,000 kilometres. For complete Earth coverage and due to their limited (momentary) Field of View (FoV) a high number of satellites are required. Unlike GEO satellites which are stationary relative to the Earth’s rotation; LEO satellites at 1000Km altitude have an orbital velocity relative to the Earth of about 7.3Km/s.

On the ground this means 2 to 3 antennas must be provided for tracking and satellite changeover. However, due to the reduced gain requirement these antennas are smaller than GEO satellite antennas – typically having a maximum diameter of 2.4m and using both Ka and Ku bands.

With low cost, ease of maintainability, small form factor and extended bandwidth all expected requirements for LEO ground segment equipment, ETL has a range of products which fit these needs, depending on the antenna hub requirements. ETL's latest introduction the Genus chassis, is a compact common chassis with a range of functions, broad frequency ranges and are scalable to fit into small and large teleports.

The proposed applications fall into two categories:

-Broadband internet access direct to end users/consumers

For latency critical applications e.g. Financial transactions, autonomous cars, remote video surgery etc LEO’s will be the first choice as the round-trip latency of a LEO satellite is roughly 10 times lower than a GEO satellite.

-Enterprise and Government 

As some planes in some LEO constellations are being laser linked this gives the possibly of a highly secure link independent of the internet. Ideal for private enterprise and government communications.