Low Earth Orbit (LEO) — Lesson 4

Low Earth Orbits (LEO) are characterized by their low altitude, short orbital periods (roughly 90 minutes), many revolutions per day, and limited swath areas (the area of the Earth that the satellite can see). There is no specified cut-off altitude, but LEO orbits are generally within several hundred km of the Earth’s surface.

LEO orbits generally have an inclination value of either 28.5 degrees or 57 degrees due to launch location and eccentricity ≈ 0.

Common Uses and Benefits: Earth observation satellites, communication satellites, closer viewing of earth, less fuel required to reach LEO, lower levels of radiation.