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The Range and Horizon Plane Simulation for Ground Stations of Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) Satellites

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Author(s): Shkelzen Cakaj | Bexhet Kamo | Vladi Koliçi | Olimpjon Shurdi

Journal: International Journal of Communications, Network and System Sciences
ISSN 1913-3715

Volume: 04;
Issue: 09;
Start page: 585;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: LEO | Satellite | Range | Horizon

ABSTRACT
Communication via satellite begins when the satellite is positioned in the desired orbital position. Ground stations can communicate with LEO (Low Earth Orbiting) satellites only when the satellite is in their visibility region. The ground station’s ideal horizon plane is in fact the visibility region under 0o of elevation angle. Because of natural barriers or too high buildings in urban areas, practical (visible) horizon plane differs from the ideal one. The duration of the visibility and so the communication duration varies for each LEO satellite pass at the ground station, since LEO satellites move too fast over the Earth. The range between the ground station and the LEO satellite depends on maximal elevation of satellite’s path above the ground station. The dimension of the horizon plane depends on satellite’s orbital attitude. The range variations between the ground station and the satellite, and then ground station horizon plane simulation for low Earth orbiting satellites as a function of orbital attitude is presented. The range impact and horizon plane variations on communication duration between the ground station and LEO satellites are given.

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