Wireless Networks

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 119–213 | Cite as

The impact of satellite altitude on the performance of LEOS based communication systems

  • Bezalel Gavish
  • Joakim Kalvenes


Low earth orbit satellite (LEOS) systems promise to provide global communication, including voice and data services from Iridium and high capacity broadband services from Teledesic. In design of LEOS systems, the choice of satellite altitude is an important consideration, which has a significant impact on system performance. Among the factors affected by satellite altitude choice are system capacity, user‐to‐user delay, power system design and communication services that can be offered. This paper analyzes the effects of satellite altitude on quality of service, frequency reusability and power system sizing. It is found that a choice of low altitude has a positive impact on system capacity and power system requirements. As a consequence, satellite mass and launch cost can be reduced for satellites in lower orbits due to the lower power requirements. In terms of user‐to‐user delay, the results are in favor of medium altitudes, while very high altitudes are not a good choice relative to these measures.


Solar Panel Time Division Multiple Access Frequency Reuse Satellite Altitude Antenna Beam 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bezalel Gavish
    • 1
  • Joakim Kalvenes
    • 2
  1. 1.Owen Graduate School of ManagementVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  2. 2.School of ManagementThe University of Texas at DallasRichardsonUSA

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