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Payloads Orbits and Size

Smiths Interconnect provides products for a diverse range of payloads and designed for Earth orbits and deep space missions.

Payload Orbits and SizeLow Earth orbits (LEO) range from 160-2,400 km (100-1,500 mi) in altitude, varying between a zero degree inclination for equatorial coverage and a 101 degree inclination for global coverage.

Medium Earth orbits (MEO) begin at 2,400 km (1,500 mi) in altitude and are typically at a 45-degree inclination to allow global coverage with fewer high- powered satellites. However, MEO is often a term applied to any orbit between LEO and GSO.

Elliptical orbits (ELI, also known as highly elliptical orbits, or HEO) have apogees ranging from 7,600 km (4,725 mi) to 35,497 km (22,000 mi) in altitude and up to a 116.5-degree inclination, allowing satellites to “hang” over certain regions on Earth, such as North America.

External or non-geocentric orbits (EXT) are centered on a celestial body other than Earth. They differ from ELI orbits in that they are not closed loops around Earth, and a spacecraft in EXT will not return to an Earth orbit. In some cases, this term is used for payloads intended to reach another celestial body, such as the Moon.

Geosynchronous orbits (GEO ) are high Earth orbits that allow satellites to match Earth’s rotation. Located at 22,236 miles (35,786 kilometers) above Earth’s equator, this position is a valuable spot for monitoring weather, communications and surveillance.

Geosynchronous orbits (GEO

Payloads vary in size from the smallest’ with masses below 1 Kg  to the largest; generally used telecommunication satellites. Most TRAK products are supplied into payloads with masses of 150kg and higher.

Class Name Kilogram [Kg] Pounds [lbs]
Femto 0.01 – 0.1 0.02 – 0.2
Pico 0.09 0.19 – 2
Nano 1.1 – 10 3 – 22
Micro 11 – 200 23 – 441
Mini 201 – 600 442 – 1,323
Small 601 – 1,200 1,324 – 2,646
Medium 1,201 – 2,500 2,647 – 5,512
Intermediate 2,501 – 5,400 5,513 – 9,259
Large 4,201 – 5,400 9,260 – 11,905
Heavy 5,401 – 7,000 11,906 – 15,432
Extra Heavy >7,001 >15,433