What is Satellite? | Types of Satellite | Components of Satellite

Satellites can gather huge data in a very quick time as compared to instruments used on the earth. Satellites can also observe into space in a better way than telescopes on the surface of Earth because they fly on the clouds, molecules & dust within the environment that can obstruct the sight from earth level. As compared to satellites, the signals of TV didn’t travel very far because they can simply travel within straight lines. So they would rapidly disappear into space rather than following the curve of Earth. In some cases, tall buildings or mountains would obstruct them. Phone calls to remote places were also trouble. Connecting telephone wires underwater or over long distances is not easy and also expensive. So by using satellites, phone calls & TV signals are transmitted up toward a satellite. After that, approximately they can transmit back downward to various places on Earth.

Satellites can gather huge data in a very quick time as compared to instruments used on the earth

What is Satellite?

A satellite is a machine, planet otherwise moon that follows a star or planet. For instance, Earth is one kind of satellite that orbits the sun. Similarly, the moon also orbits Earth. Generally, the satellite is launched into space and moves around Earth or another body in space. The general definition of a satellite is, an object which rotates around a larger object like Earth, Moon and these two are known as natural satellites.

Some of the satellites like man-made or artificial orbit Earth. The main intention of these satellites is to capture pictures of the planet to assist meteorologists in calculating weather as well as follow tropical cyclones or hurricanes. Similarly, some satellites take pictures of the sun, planets, galaxies which are faraway, dark matter to help the researchers in understanding the Universe and the solar system in a better way.

These satellites are utilized mostly for communications like broadcasting phone calls, TV signals around the world. The Global Positioning System or GPS is a collection of above 20 satellites. These satellites play a key role in finding out your location when you have a GPS receiver.

What can Satellite Do?

Satellites communicate with the antennas on the Earth by using radio waves. After that, it captures the signals to process the data coming from signals. Here, the data mainly include scientific data like the pictures clicked by satellite, the strength of the satellite & the location of the satellite in space

Satellites communicate with the antennas on the Earth by using radio waves

Types of Satellite

The classification of the satellite can be done based on their functions because they are launched into space for a specific reason. So this must be designed to fulfill its task. There are different types of satellites like the following.

  • Communications Satellite
  • Remote Sensing Satellite
  • Navigation Satellite
  • Geocentric Orbit type Satellites like LEO, MEO, HEO
  • GPS – Global Positioning System 
  • GEOs – Geostationary Satellites 
  • Drone Satellite
  • Ground Satellite
  • Polar Satellite
  • Nano Satellites
  • CubeSats 
  • SmallSats

As mentioned in the above types, communications satellites are artificial type satellites. These satellites mainly depend on the signals which are received from an earth station and again it retransmits to other earth stations. Generally, they travel in a geostationary path. Here, the information regarding an object can be collected by a remote sensing instrument.

Components of Satellite

Satellites are available in different sizes and shapes but most of the satellites include a minimum of two common parts like an antenna & a power source. The antenna transmits and receives data frequently to Earth whereas the power source is a battery or a solar panel. These panels will make power through changing energy from sunlight to electricity.

Satellites are available in different sizes and shapes but most of the satellites include a minimum of two common parts like an antenna & a power source

Many satellites from NASA include scientific sensors and cameras. In some cases, these devices are connected toward Earth for collecting data from air, water, and land. After that, they connect in the direction of space to gather information about the solar system as well as the universe.

Some other components used in a satellite mainly change based on the function but, some commonly used components are found on most of the satellites like the following.


In a satellite system, antennas play a key role in transmitting and receiving signals from Earth.

Command & Data Handling

In a satellite, command as well as control systems check each aspect and get commands for operation from Earth.

Guidance & Stabilization

The position of the satellite can be monitored through sensors to make sure it stays within the accurate orbit & it is sloping in the direction of the right objective. If required, thrusters, as well as other maneuvers, permit a satellite to modify its location and direction.


It is assembled from tough materials which can survive in the harsh space surroundings.


Most of the satellites depend on a solar array for changing sunlight into electrical energy.

Thermal Control

Thermal control protects the equipment of the satellite against severe changes within the temperature.


The signals like Uplink as well as downlink will appear and leave at dissimilar frequencies. O, transponders are used to change the frequencies from uplinked to downlink, after that it amplifies the changed transmission for transmitting to Earth.

Services Provided by Satellites

Satellites play an essential role in transmitting as well as receiving the data from the earth as they work in space. Satellites provide different services which are listed below.

  • Imaging and Remote Sensing 
  • Mobile Communications 
  • Connectivity of Broadband
  • Navigation & GPS 
  • Disaster Relief 
  • Emergency Response 
  • Broadcasts like Radio and Satellite TV
  • M2M & IoT 
  • Satellite Telehealth 

Uses of Satellite

Satellites are applicable in the following areas

  • Television
  • Space Science
  • Monitoring of Climate & Environmental
  • Telephones
  • Development
  • Navigation
  • Land Stewardship
  • Finance & Business
  • Security
  • Weather

Thus, satellites provide significant services, however, they also include an enormous impact on the everyday lives of people all over the world. Day by day, enterprise customers, as well as billions of government around the world, is using extraordinary services of satellites like If you used your mobile phone, watched a sporting event on television, browsing the internet on an airplane, situated a restaurant/store through a smartphone or navigation system or tablet or used your car’s navigation system, etc.

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