Tundra orbit

Tundra orbit

Tundra orbit is a type of highly elliptical geosynchronous orbit with a high inclination (usually near 63.4°) and an orbital period of one sidereal day (almost 24 hours). A satellite placed in this orbit spends most of its time over a chosen area of the Earth, a phenomenon known as apogee dwell. The ground track of a satellite in a tundra orbit is a closed "figure-eight" lemniscate.

These are conceptually similar to Molniya orbits which have the same inclination but half the period (about 12 hours). The only current user of tundra orbits is Sirius Satellite Radio, which operates a constellation of three satellites.


* [http://www.cubesat.auc.dk/documents/Mission_Analysis_Example.pdf Sample Mission Analysis] from the Danish Space Research Institute (see page 8).

ee also

*List of orbits

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