What is the Low Earth Orbit (LEO)?

1 Answer
Can you answer this question?

Editorial Team - everything RF

Oct 7, 2018


Earth-centered orbits with an altitude of 200 to 2000 kms above the surface of Earth are called as Low Earth orbits (LEO). Objects in these orbitals have an orbital period (i.e. the time taken to orbit the Earth once) from 88 to 128 minutes. LEO satellites move at extremely fast speeds around the Earth.

Low Earth Orbits are used by the International Space Station, the Hubble Space Telescope and most of the satellites used in telecommunication. Satellites operating in this orbit can also provide High Resolution images as they are close to earth.

One of the disadvantages of LEO is that there is some atmospheric drag in this orbit, which causes the object to slow down and drags it towards the earth.

Satellites in this orbit also have a smaller dwell time i.e., the time a satellite sits over one part of globe. To overcome this problem, the satellite needs to be either put in a highly elliptical orbit or in a geosynchronous orbit.